Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry

Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Introduction
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts

Diego Rivera came to Detroit during the Great Depression and, in the very center of the DIA, created a tribute to industry and workers. These murals reveal Rivera’s fascination with industrial processes—and his critique of the political and social realities of capitalist enterprise.

Detroit Industry: West Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts

The murals assert the benefits of industrial processes, but warn of their destructive side effects. The aviation industry produces planes for war as well as for travel. Scientific discoveries allow us to fight disease—and create poison gases.

Detroit Industry, North Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts

Rivera also reminds us that all human endeavor is rooted in the natural world.

Detroit Industry: East Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts

The scenes of Michigan industry—from chemical production to car manufacturing—are all accompanied by images of natural structures and processes. And in a prominent position facing the museum’s Woodward entrance, Rivera painted an infant in the bulb of a plan, nourished by the earth.

Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
The Murals
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
The South Wall
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: South Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry, North Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
The North Wall
Detroit Industry, North Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: East Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
The East Wall
Detroit Industry: East Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry: West Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
The West Wall
Detroit Industry: West Wall, Diego Rivera, 1932/1933, From the collection of: Detroit Institute of Arts
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