Rivera and the Detroit Murals: A Personal Journey

Harley Shaiken

May 15, 2019

An ore carrier plies the Detroit River towards the Ford Rouge plant, as seen from Windsor, Ontario, circa 1930. (Photo by the Detroit Publishing Company/Library of Congress.)

Event Description

March 1932 was not a good time to come to Detroit. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo arrived in the city in the midst of a plummeting economy and social upheaval. The artists painted during grim economic times, yet Rivera’s dream of a popular international art has found an enthusiastic new audience, and Kahlo has become iconic throughout the world. In this talk, Professor Shaiken will explore the ways in which art transcends borders.


Harley Shaiken is Class of 1930 Professor of Letters and Science and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Professor at the Graduate School of Education and a member of the Department of Geography at Berkeley where he specializes on issues of work, technology, and global production.


Cosponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the UDLAP Jenkins Graduate School, and The Mexican Museum.