Key to Panel 3

The Plastification of Creative Power
of the Northern Mechanism by Union
with the Plastic Tradition of the South

Key 3

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28.    The Golden Gate Bridge, 1937.

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29.    This central figure is the embodiment of Rivera's merging of the culture and plastic arts of the South with the industrial arts of the North. The left side is a combination of two incarnations of the Aztec diety Coatlicue; "ella de la falda de serpientes" ("she of the serpent skirt"), goddess of Death and the Earth.

Her right hand shows jade-jewel calluses, symbolic of the necessity and preciousness of working the soil. In the center is a human head, half bone and half covered with flesh, representing death and life, past and present. The right side is an auto plant stamping machine which Rivera previously depicted in his Detroit Institute of Arts murals in 1933.

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30.    Large wood sculpture of a bighorn mountain ram, carved by Dudley C. Carter. Mascot of City College of San Francisco, it stands in the lobby of Conlan Hall.

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31.    Dudley C. Carter, 1891-1993, Canadian participant in "Art in Action" who worked directly across from Rivera's location at the Exposition. He and Rivera became fast friends and his image would be included three times in the mural. Originally an engineer and timber cruiser, Carter later became a sculptor inspired by the traditions of the Northwest Coast Indians.

He is carving a wood sculpture of a bighorn mountain ram, which became the mascot of City College. He worked using primitive implements, such as the wood ax depicted here. On the spine of the book in his pocket is one of several Rivera signatures that appear in the mural. The Goddess of the Forest, also executed at the Fair, today stands across from the mural.

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32.    Frida Kahlo, 1907-1954, Rivera’s wife and Mexican artist with a sophisticated background who has turned to native plastic tradition for inspiration. She personifies the cultural union of the Americas for the South as Carter does for the North. Here she wears the traditional dress of Tehuantepec and hand-shaped earrings, a gifts from Pablo Picasso in 1939.

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33.    Paulette Goddard, 1911-1990, film star and wife of Charlie Chaplin. Here she helps Rivera plant the ceiba tree. When asked later why he depicted himself holding hands with her in the mural, Rivera answered "It means closer Pan-Americanism."

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34.    Mexican child Rivera painted from memory.

 

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35.    Donald Cairns, b. 1933, son of Emmy Lou Packard (see No.43).

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36.    Timothy L. Pflueger, 1892-1946, San Francisco architect and Rivera's friend, patron and main collaborator on this mural project, as well as the 1931 Pacific Stock Exchange mural, "Allegory of California." The library was never built because of U.S. entry into World War II and then Pflueger’s untimely death in 1946.

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