DETROIT — Diego Rivera considered it to be his finest work.
His majestic “Detroit Industry” mural, 27 different frescoes depicting the rise of the industrial age in the city, soars two stories high in a glass-covered courtyard at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Completed in 1933, Rivera’s murals were commissioned and donated to the museum by Edsel Ford, then-president of the Ford Motor Co., whose workers are depicted alongside surrealist images including an unborn baby in a plant bulb and nude goddesses representing fertility.
That imagery — along with the Mexican artist’s outspoken communist views — immediately prompted protests when the work was unveiled, including calls from local church leaders to have the murals destroyed. But the museum stood by the masterpiece, and Rivera’s ode to Detroit has been safe — until recently.
The Rivera mural along with the DIA’s 66,000 other works have been at the center of a political tug of war in the months since Detroit filed for bankruptcy sayingRead More »from Detroit's bankruptcy puts the fate of its art museum at risk