Mexican muralism

Celebrating the Mexican people’s potential to craft the nation’s history was a key theme in Mexican muralism.

c. 1920 - 1960

videos + essays

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Diego Rivera, first and second floor murals of the Secretaría de Educación Pública
Diego Rivera, first and second floor murals of the Secretaría de Educación Pública

Diego Rivera's enormous mural cycle at the Ministry of Public Education celebrates Mexico: its festivals, its industries, and its people in over 100 panels

<em>Detroit Industry Murals</em> by Diego Rivera
Detroit Industry Murals by Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry Murals is a monumental 27-panel mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts that portrays the geological, technological, and human history of Detroit. Rivera was a great admirer of American innovation and both celebrates and questions its impact on society. He depicts the enormity and complexity of an automotive factory and presents […]

Diego Rivera’s <em>Sugar Cane</em>
Diego Rivera’s Sugar Cane

A brutal history told for a modern American city, Mexican muralism in New York

Diego Rivera, <em>Calla Lilly Vendor (Vendedora de Alcatraces)</em>
Diego Rivera, Calla Lilly Vendor (Vendedora de Alcatraces)

Rivera celebrates indigenous culture, but also points to poverty in this melancholy painting of a flower seller.

Diego Rivera, <em>Man Controller of the Universe</em>
Diego Rivera, Man Controller of the Universe

Why was the original version of this mural at New York’s Rockefeller Center destroyed within months of its creation?

Diego Rivera, <em>Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central Park</em>
Diego Rivera, Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central Park

Rivera includes 400 years of history here, and guarantees that the stories normally edited out are included.

Diego Rivera, <em>Man at the Crossroads</em>
Diego Rivera, Man at the Crossroads

Why was the original version of this mural at New York’s Rockefeller Center destroyed within months of its creation?

Diego Rivera, <em>Detroit Industry Murals</em>
Diego Rivera, Detroit Industry Murals

Rivera’s controversial murals were made at the height of Depression-era instability in auto-manufacturing Detroit.

Mexican Muralism: <em>Los Tres Grandes</em>—David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, and José Clemente Orozco
Mexican Muralism: Los Tres Grandes—David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, and José Clemente Orozco

Epic murals in highly visible, public buildings were commissioned by the Mexican government to teach history.

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