Have you ever wondered where you can find the murals by Mexican artist Diego Rivera in San Francisco? KALW listener Monzerrath Gonzalez has. So, KALW Reporter Sara Nora Koust went with her to San Francisco Art Institute to check one out.
As it turns out, San Francisco has three murals by Diego Rivera. The first mural he painted outside of Mexico is at The City Club. It’s called “Allegory of California,” representing the spirit of California. This is the most tricky one to visit since reservations are a must. Fortunately, San Francisco City Guides offers free tours at 3 PM on the first and third Mondays of every month.
Then there’s the “Pan American Unity” located at City College. It’s the biggest work he’s done, measuring 22 feet tall and 75 feet wide. The mural is divided into 10 panels, each telling a different story. It can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
We went to the San Francisco Art Institute, where you can experience the mural called “The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City.” This mural is the most accessible since the Diego Rivera Gallery open every day between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The mural features the people that are involved in the building of a city, from general labors to engineers. The central figure of a worker can be seen as an example of the status Rivera attributed to the working class. Being from a hard-working Mexican family, these values are meaningful to Monzerrath and her family too. She says:
“Seeing the importance of hard work represented with dignity and pride in art is something that isn’t seen often. I think it’s really important, and I love that it's here and accessible for us.”
And guess what? All three murals are all free and accessible for you too!
Links for how to visit each mural are above.