May 22, 1933
Edwin H. Blashfield, dean of American mural painters, expressed approval yesterday of the refusal of the Rockefellers to permit Diego Rivera, radical Mexican artist, to complete his much-discussed mural on the walls of the RCA building in Rockefeller Center.
"If Rivera's art expressed opposition to the American Government", he said, "it should not be tolerated by the American people".
The artist also deplored the hiring of foreign painters to depict American scenes. American artists, he contended, understand better the subject-matter of their country. "We should continue to welcome foreign painters here", he said, "but where a choice is possible, our own artists should be given preference".
Frederick K. Detwiller, painter, and president of the Artists of Carnegie Hall, said:
"We do not say that nationality should affect the prestige of an artist one way or another. We merely demand that the American artists be given equal opportunities with the artists of the world. When an important piece of work is to be done, such as the murals in Rockefeller Center, whether it is for a public institution or not, open competition for the job should be held and internationally advertised."