Thursday, February 22, 2018

Diego discovered

Trying to find my Japanese teacher's office proved to be a bit of a challenge. Her office is located in the Arts Building, but, come to find out, there's more than one building named 'Arts'. I took a wrong turn at a massive Olmec/Toltec stone head and found this housed within the campus theater---

Diego Rivera's Pan-American Unity Mural ca. 1940

Founding Fathers, John Brown, Frida Kahlo, Bay Bridge snippet...
I had no idea the mural hung at our campus. Given that there was no one here when I stumbled in, it would seem that hardly anyone else knows either.

Yes, that's Edward G Robinson in the bottom right corner.

I've been back a few times since my first visit. Each time I view the mural I'm struck by the fact that I know very little about the subject matter, and more precisely, how it all ties together. History buffs and those better educated than I would do well with this piece.

The mural is much larger than the two pictures would imply. I'd say I'm showing about 1/5 of the mural in these two snaps. The reason I took these specific photos was because they show figures I recognized. (I'd be a right failure if I hadn't at least clocked both George and Abe, for goodness sakes.) The man in the tan suit in the above image holding a blueprint caught my eye, so I asked the docent on-hand for a bit of info. on him. She refered me to a detailed pamphlet highlighting who the 'key players' of the mural are. -turns out our man in tan is an architect of great renown around these parts and whose work I had already greatly admired: Timothy Pflueger. Pflueger was born in SF to German parents in the late 1890s. He started as a draftsman, entirely self-taught, and moved up through the ranks. He is responsible for creating some of the Bay Area's most stunning movie houses & contributing to SFs burgeoning downtown scene with the creation of a few choice Beaux Arts style 'sky-scrapers'.

His works include:

The Castro Theater, SF

The Paramount Theater, Oakland

 The Pacific Telephone building, ca. 1925.

I'll need to take another gander at the mural, with pamphlet in hand, to absorb a bit more. Maybe I should bring along a History of the Americas book as well.


  1. You sent me on a little side trip to recall Rivera. These heroic murals always have fascinated me.

    1. :D That's how I felt when I discovered the mural on campus. It's a pretty big 'WOW!' to see it up close and personal.

  2. Amazing how you stumbled upon such a piece of note. So many things that are hidden...

    1. Yeah, they don't really broadcast that they have it. ('They' being SF City College.) I heard that it will go on loan to the SF MOMA starting in 2019 for a few years while the building on campus its housed in undergoes renovation.


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