SAN FRANCISCO, CA (December 11, 2017) — The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) today announced plans to display Diego Rivera’s historic mural, Pan American Unity, as the cornerstone of a major exhibition of the artist’s work at SFMOMA in 2020. The mural — one of the most important works of public art in San Francisco — will be on view in the museum’s Roberts Family Gallery on the street level, part of the museum’s free, unticketed space. A comprehensive program of conservation, public education and CCSF student internships will accompany the exhibition of the work and will be announced in greater detail at a later date. Early funding for these initiatives has been provided in part by the Koret Foundation.
Diego Rivera’s The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on the Continent, more commonly known as Pan American Unity, was created in 1940 as part of the Art in Action program at the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) on San Francisco’s Treasure Island, where local and international artists created works of painting, sculpture, weaving, stained glass, prints and engravings before an audience of fairgoers. Measuring 22 feet high and 74 feet wide (nearly 1,800 square feet) and comprised of ten fresco panels, the mural is the largest created by Rivera and his last made in the United States. As a result of a partnership between one of the GGIE’s commissioners and Rivera, from its inception the mural was slated for permanent display at what is now known as City College of San Francisco. Rich in symbolism and imagery from across the North American continent, including Mexico, the United States and Canada, Pan American Unity has been on view in the Diego Rivera Theater on the main campus of City College of San Francisco since 1961.