Celebrating the Workers of the World and the Ford V8 in Detroit
Stand in the Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts and tip your head back to take in the sun-streaked grandeur and ugliness of 20th-century industry, portrayed in the murals that surround you. A multi-ethnic working class builds an American Dream of cars, planes, and life-saving drugs. Rest in the corner of the courtyard, where a painted worker leans against a wall looking back at you. Diego Rivera painted these Motor City murals in 1932-33, after visiting the Ford Rouge plant to observe and sketch. Commissioned by Edsel Ford, the murals created huge controversy—political, religious and nationalistic.