Detroit's Memorable Murals: Background information when reading Detroit City Is the Place to Be

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Detroit City Is the Place to Be

The Afterlife of an American Metropolis

By Mark Binelli

Detroit City Is the Place to Be
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  • Hardcover: Nov 2012,
    336 pages.
    Paperback: Nov 2013,
    336 pages.

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Detroit's Memorable Murals

South Wall of muralsEven as Detroit City might be having a rejuvenation of sorts by attracting increasing numbers of artists, it is worth looking back to the Great Depression when a Mexican mural artist, Diego Rivera, created the city's most iconic art: the set of murals known as Detroit Industry.

Back in the early '30s Edsel Ford (son of Henry Ford) was an ardent supporter of the arts. When W.R. Valentiner, director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, suggested he commission some art for the museum, Ford decided he would like to capture the spirit of the city's industry through a series of murals for the museum's garden court. Diego Rivera, a renowned Mexican muralist (and known Marxist) was commissioned to create murals for just two segments of the court but eventually the series grew to be a number of arresting murals created over the span of two years.

Once commissioned (for what would be $300,000 in today's monetary terms), Diego Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo visited Detroit where Rivera drew ...

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