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Diego Rivera / Art & Revolution

Media Guide: A World of InformationIs Available About the Artist

May 24, 1999

On the Internet

A bilingual, comprehensive, interactive Web museum that includes extensive biographical information, a gallery of paintings and murals, interactive/3-D view of some murals and a small sampling of film stills of Rivera at work in Detroit.

The Detroit Institute of Arts' photographic archive of Rivera at work on 1930s Detroit frescoes commissioned by Edsel Ford. Images of Rivera are paired with a photo of the completed fresco.

Jim Fine's art collection, a personal selection of more than 4,500 scanned works by more than 350 artists--from sculptors to painters, arranged alphabetically by artist. Includes 45 Rivera pieces for viewing. No biographical information.

Mark Harden's Archive--another personal collection, more than 2,000 pieces scanned from more than 200 artists. Contains five Rivera frescoes.

Web site for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Includes information on the exhibition and a special Diego Rivera Web page.

See a gallery of images from "Diego Rivera: Art & Revolution" at:


Videos available for rental or purchase:

"Portrait of an Artist--The Frescoes of Diego Rivera," Michael Camerini, 1986. 35 minutes.

"Diego Rivera: The Age of Steel," Museum of Modern Art, 30 minutes.


During the Rivera exhibition, LACMA will show two films at its Leo S. Bing Theater:

June 19, 1 p.m.: "Rivera in America," a documentary made for PBS' "American Masters" series. Produced and directed by Rick Tejada-Flores, 1988. 60 minutes.

Aug. 14, 2 p.m.: "Mexico en la Obra de Octavio Paz" (Mexico Through the Eyes of Octavio Paz). The Nobel Prize-winning poet discusses the Mexican muralist movement. (In Spanish.)

Feature Films

Tim Robbins' "Cradle Will Rock," based on true events, is a tapestry of stories set in the art and theater world of the 1930s. The film includes the famous incident of Nelson Rockefeller's (John Cusack) ill-fated commissioning of Rivera (Ruben Blades) to create a mural for the lobby of Rockefeller Center. A fall release from Disney's Buena Vista studio.


"Dreaming With His Eyes Open: A Life of Diego Rivera," by Patrick Marnham. Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. (See excerpt on T11.)

From Neil Baldwin's March 14 review in the Los Angeles Times Book Review:

"The primary challenge facing the biographer of an artist is how to negotiate the artificial border between the subject's life and work. This permeable membrane--if the biography is to entertain as well as to inform--must be passed through at just the right moments in the narrative. The reader should come away understanding that the process of making art is incessant, regardless of whatever else the artist seems to be doing in his or her daily routine. Because works of art in and of themselves are not mere signposts or illustrations along the road of events, the well-made biography of an artist should contain an undercurrent of mental obsession.

"The smooth narrative and scholarly underpinning of Patrick Marnham's new biography of the Mexican painter Diego Rivera (1886-1957) measure up well against these admittedly thorny ideals. Reading 'Dreaming With His Eyes Open' feels like a rickety roller coaster ride where there has absolutely never been an accident. Your ever-present sense of risk is palpable but always balanced by a thread of reassurance."

"Diego Rivera: A Retrospective," by Cynthia Newman Helms. W.W. Norton & Co., 1998.

"Diego Rivera as Epic Modernist," by David Craven. London: Prentice Hall International, G.K. Hall, 1997.

"The Fabulous Life of Diego Rivera," by Bertram David Wolfe. Stein and Day, 1963 (reprinted by Scarborough House, 1990).

"My Art, My Life: An Autobiography," by Diego Rivera (with Gladys March). Citadel Press, 1960 (reprinted by Dover, 1991).


"Diego Rivera: Detroit Industry Murals," by Linda Banks Downs. W.W. Norton, September 1999.

A Rivera biography by Pete Hamill. Abrams, fall 1999.

University of California at Santa Barbara professor Ramon Favela has written a two-volume biography of Rivera, to be published by the University of California Press in 2001.

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