May 12, 1933
NEW YORK, MAY 10--The unwillingness of the Rockefeller family to accept the idea of Diego Rivera, the Mexican mural painter, that all art should be propaganda, and that it was fitting therefore to include in his fresco in the Great Hall of the R.C.A. Building in the Rockefeller Centre a portrait of Lenin supported by a group of proletarians waving red flags, has led to the cancellation of the artist's contract with Rockefeller City, Incorporated. He has been paid his full fee of £21,000 (£4,200 at par], but he will not be allowed to complete the fresco.
There was an exchange of letters between the Rockefeller family and Rivera before the decision was taken to cancel his contract. In answer to the family's hope that it might be possible to come to a compromise over the design for the fresco the artist offered to balance a panel showing Lenin joining the hands of a soldier, a workman, and a negro with one picturing Lincoln aiding mankind, but the family objected not only to the figure of Lenin in the fresco but also to what they felt was the overbright colours of the painting as a whole.
The fresco, "Human Intelligence in Control of the Forces of Nature," was to have covered a space 63 ft. long and 17 ft. high. At one side of it was to be a chiaroscuro by Frank Brangwyn and on the other one by Jose Maria Sert, the Spanish painter. All three are only partly completed.