Detroit Institute of Arts

Where in the World is Diego Rivera………?

DIA - Diego Rivera Court

…That’s him in the bowler….blending right into the crowd.  And the story he tells in the Diego Rivera Court Mural packs quit a punch…

DIA - Rivera Court

The Detroit Institute of Art’s signature piece is it’s Diego Rivera Court.  The Museum touts it as one of America’s greatest works and the artist as the best work of his career.  It is truly spectacular!

“The Detroit Industry fresco cycle was conceived by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957) as a tribute to the city’s manufacturing base and labor force of the 1930s. Rivera completed the twenty-seven panel work in eleven months, from April 1932 to March 1933. It is considered the finest example of Mexican mural art in the United States, and the artist thought it the best work of his career.

Rivera was a Marxist who believed that art belonged on public walls rather than in private galleries. He found his medium in the fresco, where paint is applied to wet plaster. Its vast size allowed him to explore grand and complex themes, which would be accessible to a large audience. In Mexico, Rivera’s murals tied modern Mexican culture to its indigenous roots, revealing the ancient Indian cultures as Mexico’s true heritage. Similarly, Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals depict industry and technology as the indigenous culture of Detroit.”

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Diego Rivera Court Tour – Detroit Institute of Art

Rivera includes Edsel Ford (second from right) who subsidized this commission and William Valentiner, (far right) then Director of the Museum in the story.

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“Rivera uses the image of a baby growing in the bulb of a plant to remind us that all human endeavor is rooted in the earth. The women on each side are fertility figures holding fruits, vegetables, and grains grown in Michigan.”

Rivera painted his self portrait into the mural in the man with the bowler.

“the murals (27 in all) are rife with Christian themes and utopian symbolism. ”

Symbolism in Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry Murals – Bridgeman – Art, Culture, History

Detroit Institute of Arts