Diego Rivera, 1886-1957

Diego Rivera, 1886-1957

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Diego Rivera, Pan-American Unity

(Diego Rivera's full name: Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez)

San Francisco architect Timothy L. Pflueger invited his friend, Diego Rivera, to create a large mural for the second year of the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1940. Rivera would paint the mural in full public view of the crowds at the exposition. Then, after the fair closed later that year, the ten panels of the mural would be taken down and removed to City College of San Francisco, where it would be installed in one of Pflueger’s new campus buildings. 

However, fate conspired to change the hopes and plans for the mural. The Second World War, the death of Pflueger in 1946 and Rivera in 1957 left the mural, boxed up and in storage, until 1961, when Pflueger’s younger brother Milton incorporated the mural into his own newly designed Diego Rivera Theater on the City College campus.

The following discussion of the themes and people presented in the mural are taken from the excellent discussions on the City College of San Francisco web site.

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Panel 1: The Creative Genius of the South Growing from Religious Fervor and a Native Talent for Plastic Expression

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Panel 2: Elements from Past and Present

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Panel 3: The Plastification of Creative Power of the Northern Mechanism by Union with the Plastic Tradition of the South

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Panel 4: Trends of Creative Effort in the United States and the Rise of Woman in Various Fields of Creative Endeavor through Her Use of the Power of Manmade Machinery

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Panel 5: The Creative Culture of North Developing from the Necessity of Making Life Possible in a New and Empty Land

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