Monday, March 26, 2007

Revolution of the Spirit

I highly recommend the podcast lecture on "Diego Rivera and the Mexican Mural and Print Revolution" at the PMA site (from January 7, 2007). (Diego Rivera's mural in Mexico's National Palace is shown above.)
Jane Golden, the Director of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, begins the lecture with a heartfelt intoduction and sets the tone for the lecture thematically and emotionally. Ms. Golden's affection for the main speaker, Guadalupe Rivera Marín, Ph.D., Founder and Board Chair of the Diego Rivera Foundation, and the daughter of Diego Rivera, is clear. Even clearer is Ms. Golden's belief in the power of murals and public art to act as an agent for social change, a power at the heart of Diego Rivera's painting.

Dr. Rivera then discusses at length her father's work, particularly his desire to depict not only the drama of life but also its beauty. She describes her father's vision of an artist as a revolutionary figure not just of revolutions of politics or arms but more importantly of revoltions of the spirit.

One of the best laugh lines comes when Dr. Rivera speaks of her father's affiliation for strong women, which was perhaps the reason why he loved so many of them (including Frida Kahlo).

Dr. Rivera's self-admitted nervousness and difficulties with English and some sound level problems, perhaps caused when she gestured away from a unidirectional microphone, make it a little difficult to listen to, but this podcast certainly rewards the patience of the listener.

Unfortunately, with this podcast and the previous Thomas Chimes-related podcast, I have now exhausted the lectures available from the PMA site. If you are a member of the PMA and are interested in these podcasts, I encourage you to join the online community at the PMA site and ask for more lectures, perhaps including lectures from previous exhibits in years past. If you are a member of another museum in another city, I encourage you to make a similar approach to your local museum. The education and entertainment value of these lectures is too great to let them wallow away in storage in our digital age.

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