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IN-PERSON: Diego Rivera’s Artistic Vision of North America   

**This class will be taught in-person**

Timed to coincide with Diego Rivera’s America, an exhibit at SFMOMA July 16, 2022–January 2, 2023,  this course explores Rivera’s work in Mexico and the United States during the 1920s to the early 1940s.  Featured are easel paintings, murals and portable frescoes created in Mexico and the United States, as well as discussion of the influence of Rivera on California murals.

Week 1:  1886-1920: Rivera’s early life and artistic education in Mexico and Europe; influence of Cubism as an important aspect of the artist's development, in which his interest in themes of nationalism and politics first emerges.  Studies Renaissance frescoes in Italy.

Week 2: 1921-1929: Rivera returns to Mexico in wake of Mexican Revolution (1910-20); creates murals to revitalize and redefine Mexican culture at the Ministry of Education and National Palace in Mexico City, National School of Agriculture at Chapingo and Palace of Cortés in Cuernevaca.  Joins the Mexican Communist Party and marries Frida Kahlo.

Week 3:  1930-1939: Rivera creates major mural cycles in the United States:  Detroit Institute of Arts; San Francisco Art Institute; Luncheon Club of the San Francisco Stock Exchange; Rockefeller Center (Man at the Crossroads); retrospective exhibition Museum of New York featuring eight “portable” murals; completes murals in stairwell, National Palace, Mexico City.

Week 4:  1940: Rivera creates 10-panel fresco mural for the Golden Gate International Exposition on San Francisco’s Treasure Island.  The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on the Continent (more commonly known as Pan American Unity) was Rivera’s last project outside Mexico and will be on loan from City College of San Francisco and installed in SFMOMA’s free-to-visit Roberts Family Gallery for the exhibit.

Week 5:  Heritage of Diego Rivera in California murals, particularly Chicano Park, San Diego and Great Wall of Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley.

Week 6:  Heritage of Diego Rivera in San Francisco murals, particularly Rincon Annex, Coit Tower, Beach Chalet, Presidio Chapel and Mission District.


This class is not available at this time.