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Reconsidering Rivera

Posted by on Oct 4, 2010 in History, Murals, News | 0 comments

Reconsidering Rivera

“And what sort of man was I?” asks Diego Rivera toward the end of his autobiography, in the last year of his life. Indeed, with a life as rich in controversy as Rivera’s, the ambiguous answers to that question continue to fascinate scholars of his work. But it is the question of what sort of artist Rivera was, and the meaning of his undeniably prodigious contribution to twentieth-century art, that lie behind a new, major retrospective of his work, “Diego Rivera: Art and Revolution,” opening at the Cleveland Museum of Art on February 14, 1999.

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New Temporary Exhibition: The Mexican Child

Posted by on Sep 24, 2010 in Collections, History, News, Site | 0 comments

New Temporary Exhibition: The Mexican Child

We have added new paintings: the Mexican Cildren of Diego Rivera, showing some of the children that Rivera painted during his lifetime. We hope you enjoy them.

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The Enigma of Frida Kahlo

Posted by on Sep 22, 2010 in Frida Kahlo, History | 0 comments

The Enigma of Frida Kahlo

Written by Amitai Sasson on October 18, 2009 Frida Kahlo was born in 1907 in a small town on the outskirts of Mexico City. Kahlo was one of four daughters born to a Hungarian-Jewish father and a mother of Spanish and Mexican Indian descent. Her works were largely inspired by indigenous cultures of her up bringing and her magical Mexico — the realist elements of Christian and Jewish traditions combined with surrealist renderings. Although Frida Kahlo brushed her canvas with compact, vibrant hues you cannot help but sense a certain obscurity and vulnerability, most notably in her many self-portraits that symbolically articulate her own pain and sexuality. The sensitive stare beneath her bushy eyebrows serves as an intimate portrayal of the grim realities of her life. Personal struggle aside, Kahlo was controversial for her self-cultivated public persona. The woman expressed her glamour, her Mexican heritage, her communist leaning in all candidness. In addition to her political views Kahlo played it coy and kept people guessing about her own sexuality. Whereas in her paintings Kahlo is expressing her pain, she was, when in public, depicted a person who was enjoying life and living life to the fullest… “with great energy and surprising dynamism,” as observers would later note. Such is the enigma of Frida Kahlo. Kahlo contracted polio at six, which left her right leg thinner. She concealed her condition by wearing long, colorful skirts. She and her sisters grew up amid the violent Mexican Revolution where gunfire echoed in the streets, the hungry revolutionaries knocking on their door. As a young woman, Fridah aspired to become a Doctor. Unfortunately her hopes and dreams were severed on one summer afternoon as she was involved in a bus-trolley collision which left her in a wreck. Despite more than 30 subsequent operations, Kahlo spent the rest of her life in constant pain, finally succumbing to related complications at age 47. Limping and getting by with extreme pain, during her difficult recovery Kahlo regained her spirits by painting. In the first three months when she was immobile, the urge to paint herself came rushing. “I am the subject I know best”, Kahlo once said. Her self-portraits were born while in that state of torture; the pain real and stirring at her very core. Did she paint pain? Look closer now. As far as she is concerned: “They thought I was a Surrealist but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” The mark of her “own reality” is manifested in 55 self-portraits. She painted with passion drawing from her personal experiences – including her often tumultuous marriages, her miscarriages and abortions, her extramarital affairs with both sexes – to create an anthology of 143 paintings. At the age of 21, Kahlo fell in love with the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, whose approach to art and politics suited her own. Although he was 20 years older, they were married in 1929; this stormy, passionate relationship survived infidelities, the pressures of Rivera’s career, a divorce and remarriage, and Kahlo’s poor health. Amputated, frail from complications and sensing the nearness of death upon her, Kahlo wrote in her diary: “I hope the exit is joyful – and I hope never to return – Frida.” In life, Kahlo’s portrayal of pain in her paintings...

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New Smartphone Version

Posted by on Sep 9, 2010 in Mobile, News, Site | 0 comments

New Smartphone Version

We have released a new version of the site for smartmobile browsers, the new version allows naviating in english and spanish through the site, and carry the museum in your pocket. Only type on your smartphone the web address of diegorivera.com, and you will be presented with the smartphone optimized version. We hope you enjoy it.

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The Rivera Collection At the City College of San Francisco

Posted by on Sep 7, 2010 in History, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Rivera Collection At the City College of San Francisco

The Rivera Collection At the City College of San Francisco

The Rivera Collection, housed in the Russell M. Posner Reading Room inside the Rosenberg Library, is a special collection of approximately 400 cataloged titles focusing on the life and work of Diego Rivera and artists who assisted him in his work.

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We go Mobile!

Posted by on Sep 3, 2010 in Mobile, News, Site | 0 comments

We are smartphone compatible: the site is viewable in mobile devices like iPhone and android. Just go to the diegorivera.com within your browser and it will display a mobile version of the site, so you can enjoy the Museum from anyplace anytime! We are adding new features every day, please support the museum by visiting our advertising partners.

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Man at the Crossroads: the Rockefeller Controversy

Posted by on Sep 2, 2010 in History, News | 0 comments

Man at the Crossroads: the Rockefeller Controversy

By Annette Labedzki In 1932, Nelson Rockefeller commissioned Mexican muralist Diego Rivera to paint a mural for the ground floor lobby of the Radio Corporation Arts Building in the Rockefeller Center. The painting was supposed to depict in Rockefeller’s own words “Man at the Crossroads Looking with Hope and High Vision to the Choosing of a New and Better Future.” Rivera proposed a 63-foot mural. He started working on the mural with the help of six assistants, in March 1933. “Man at the Crossroads” proved out to be one of the most groundbreaking works of Diego Rivera. The center of the painting portrayed a commanding industrial worker with his hands on the controls of heavy machinery. The crossroads were formed by two long narrow slides intersecting at the centre, right below the worker. One slide displayed a microscopic view of body cells, reflecting sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and another presented a telescopic view of the universe. The painting was roughly divided into two sections. The left panel showed elite people, especially women, enjoying, drinking, and partying. A contrast was reflected on the same side with a group of people protesting and being clubbed by the police. The right side of “Man at the Crossroads” showed a May Day parade with workers and people living in harmony. At the center of the left side, there was an image of Vladimir Lenin (Russian communist leader), as if joining hands in power with a black farmer, a white worker, and a soldier. The presence of Lenin in the painting hinted at an ‘Anti-Capitalist’ flavor. To avoid any kind of political controversy, Nelson Rockefeller requested Rivera to replace the face of Lenin with any ordinary face. Diego was an ardent fan of the Soviet leader and so he refused to replace Lenin in the painting. He instead offered to add American leader Abraham Lincoln’s face to another part of the mural. Their differences were never resolved. Rivera wished to get a few pictures taken of his “Man at the Crossroads,” but photographers were banned from the center. Lucienne Bloch, one of Rivera’s assistants, snuck in a camera into the building and took some pictures to record the mural. These pictures are the only original records of the mural. On May 22, 1933, Rivera was paid in full and was barred from the premises, without letting him complete his work. The painting was then draped and was hidden away from the public eye. On the midnight of February 9, 1934, a few workers marched into the center with axes and hammers and destroyed the mural. Diego Rivera was determined to finish his painting “Man at the Crossroads,” so he reproduced his work under the name “Man, Controller of The Universe.” This painting also depicted Lenin and Rivera added a portrait of Leon Trotsky (another communist leader). This painting can be seen in the Palace of Fine arts in Mexico. At Rockefeller’s Center, the mural replacing that of Diego’s has Abraham Lincoln as its key...

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Review of Palacio Nacional and the Diego Rivera Murals

Posted by on Aug 31, 2010 in History | 0 comments

Review of Palacio Nacional and the Diego Rivera Murals

This complex of countless rooms, wide stone stairways, and numerous courtyards adorned with carved brass balconies was once where the president of Mexico worked, and it remains an important site for presidential meetings and events. But it’s better known for the fabulous second-floor Diego Rivera murals depicting the history of Mexico. Begun in 1692 on the site of Moctezuma II’s “new” palace, this building became the site of Hernán Cortez’s home and the residence of colonial viceroys. It has changed much in 300 years, taking on its present form in the late 1920s, when the top floor was added. Just 30 minutes here with an English-speaking guide provides essential background for an understanding of Mexican history. The cost of a guide is negotiable: 150 pesos or less, depending on your bargaining ability. Enter by the central door, over which hangs the bell rung by Padre Miguel Hidalgo when he proclaimed Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1810 — the famous grito. Each September 15, Mexican Independence Day, the president of Mexico stands on the balcony above the door to echo Hidalgo’s cry to the thousands of spectators who fill the zócalo. Take the stairs to the Rivera murals, which were painted over a 25-year period. The Legend of Quetzalcoatl depicts the famous tale of the feathered serpent bringing a blond-bearded white man to the country. When Cortez arrived, many Aztecs, recalling this legend, believed him to be Quetzalcoatl. Another mural tells of the American Intervention, when American invaders marched into Mexico City during the War of 1847. It was on this occasion that the military cadets of Chapultepec Castle (then a military school) fought bravely to the last man. The most notable of Rivera’s murals is the Great City of Tenochtitlan, a study of the original settlement in the Valley of Mexico. It showcases an Aztec market scene with the budding city in the background and includes a beautiful representation of Xochiquetzal, goddess of love, with her crown of flowers and tattooed legs. Diego Rivera, one of Mexico’s legendary muralists, left an indelible stamp on Mexico City, his painted political themes affecting the way millions view Mexican history. Additional examples of Rivera’s stunning and provocative interpretations are found at the Bellas Artes, the National Preparatory School, the Department of Public Education, the National School of Agriculture at Chapingo, the National Institute of Cardiology, and the Museo Mural Diego Rivera (which houses the mural formerly located in the now-razed Hotel del Prado). Read more:...

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New Stores

Posted by on Aug 20, 2010 in News | 0 comments

We just updated our stores, please take a moment and visit them. As you mey know, we are a non profit organization and we pay the site with the product sponsorship, when you buy products you will be helping the site!

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