1933 May 9

No Left-wing Murals in Rockefeller Center!

 

Future Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, who was a member of the committee selecting art for the new Rockefeller Center in New York, authorized a set of murals by the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera. When he discovered that the murals contained left-wing political messages, he ordered work stopped on this day.

The murals were covered and then destroyed in February 1934. A few photographs were taken clandestinely, and they are the only surviving record of the murals.

Read Archibald MacLeish’s poems about the incident: Frescoes for Mr. Rockefeller’s City (1933)

See Rivera’s art work: http://www.diegorivera.org/

Read: Manuel Aguilar-Moreno and Erika Cabrera, Diego Rivera: A Biography (2011)

Watch a documentary on Diego Rivera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LupVOD31euM

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