fresh from his "knock-out" at the hands of the Rockefeller family,
has once more broken into public print with the announcement that he has
started work on a new series of murals in the loft assembly room of the
New Workers' School, 51 West 14th Street, New York, where he will depict
the history of the revolutionary idea in America. Working this time in
a sympathetic environment, Rivera will meet with none of the "capitalist" opposition which greeted his introduction of a portrait of Lenin into
the composition of his frescoes at Rockefeller Center and resulted in
the forced cessation of his work there and the cancellation of an additional
commission from the General Motors Corporation. He will work without pay,
the paintings being his gift to the workers's cause.
In his newest pageant of social history Rivera will portray such characters
as Thomas Jefferson, Eugene Debs, Thomas Payne, J. P. Morgan and Daniel
Shay, leader of the socalled "Shay's Rebellion". Lenin will
be represented unopposed, looking down from the same wall with the likeness
of John D. Rockefeller.
George Washington, because the artist does not consider him "a central
revolutionary figure" will not be present. The painting will consist
of 21 panels, eight on each of the side walls of the room, and four small
and one large panel on the end walls. As in the ill-fated Rockefeller
Center project the whole work will be done in true fresco.
Rivera plans to begin his sequence with the earliest class conflicts at
the very beginning of the country's economic history. The first panel
will show the conquest of the Indians by the Colonists. Following this
will be represented the struggle for supremacy among the different nationalities,
war with Mexico, gold in California, the Civil War and finally the period
of industrial conflict. Concerning the omission of Washington, Rivera
is quoted in the New York Herald Tribune: "His understanding of the
American Revolution was limited and therefore he played a thoroughly conservative
and even reactionary role in the social changes arising out of the Revolution
and construction of a new government".
Rivera has promised to do another series of paintings for the International
Workers' School, 7 East 15th Street, where he will depict "the importance
of Trotsky as a leader and the part played by the Communist opposition
in the work of the masses".