Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Mural Maze

This week the Financial Times published The Mural Maze, an article by Jane Urs-Smith, about the murals of San Francisco and centering around Diego Rivera. A brief mention of Frida Kahlo in the final paragraph.

The article includes a helpful list of mural touring links.

Ure-Smith concludes by advocating for the relocation of Diego's "Pan American Unity" mural from its obscure location at City College to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art if they can find the space.

"On my last day, I sped down the freeway to City College’s Ocean Avenue campus to revisit “Pan American Unity” (1940), the third Rivera work in San Francisco. Arriving with what I thought was 10 minutes to spare, I found the theatre locked and in darkness. An assistant to the dean of arts eventually let me in but not before she’d lectured me about burglar alarms and cops and how she took the rap every single time – but what did a selfish soul like me care?

I didn’t. Instead, I felt annoyed that this magnificent 22-metre work – a call for American solidarity in the face of the growing threat of fascism, with Hitler, Frida Kahlo and Charlie Chaplin among its characters – is locked away in a dusty campus theatre lobby and only available to the public for two or three hours a day. Unlike most frescoes, this one is on 10 moveable panels. If San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art has a big white space to spare, that’s where this Rivera should be."

The mural maze
By Jane Ure-Smith
Published: November 2 2007 17:05 Last updated: November 2 2007 17:05

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