My husband and I visited the DIA right before Christmas with the specific purpose of seeing a Faberge Egg Show and the Rivera Court. What we assumed would be a quick visit to the Rivera Court wasn't. I'm not normally someone who can spend a lot of time looking at one piece of art, but the Rivera Court isn't just a piece of art. It is a huge mural that covers four very long and high walls. It is politically charged and works with a lot of ideas stemming from the industrialization of society and the glaring consequences of discoveries and changes for the good and the bad of mankind. Within the tapestry of this continuous mural, odd elements are thrown in such as references to the funny papers, a composite of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, men is gas masks, workers with green skin, and a worker with a big red star on his work glove. We were fortunate to talk to a docent who explained a lot of what we were viewing, but we had to leave eventually.
I bought this book for my husband for Christmas, but it was really as much for myself as for him. This is a beautifully laid out book that goes into great detail about the history of the Rivera murals. It covers the time period that Rivera and Frieda Kahlo lived in Detroit and gave an account of their activities while there. It also provided a lot of information about Rivera's attitudes; Rivera was a Mexican Communist. There are details about the murals themselves as well as the political commentaries Rivera, not so transparently, snuck in. Anecdotes abound from the sentiments against the mural during the Cold War period and the discovery of sketches for the mural. Collectively, this book answers a lot of the questions we left wanting to ask and will take us back for another visit to look further.
Decidedly a great art book with a lot of detailed pictures, a thought provoking and informative text, and a book that really echoes the projects that came from the WPA.