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Miguel Covarrubias
Mexican (1904-1957)

Rockefeller Discovering the Rivera Mural, 1933
Gouache and ink on paper, 14 x 10 inches
Signed and annotated in pencil lower right

Recent Acquisition

Provenance

Forbes Collection, New York
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, May 29, 1985, lot 323

Exhibited

South of the Border: Mexico in the American Imagination, 1914-1947, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, September 10-November 21, 1993; Phoenix Art Museum, December 26, 1993-February 13, 1994; New Orleans Museum of Art, May 7-July 17, 1994; Museo de Monterrey, Mexico, September 9-November 20, 1994.

Shared Traditions: African American Modernists and the Mexican Muralists, The American Federation of Arts; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, September 15-December 1, 1996; African American Museum, Dallas, January 3-March 2, 1996; Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, March 26-May 25, 1996; California Afro-American Museum, Los Angeles, June 20-August 17, 1994; Diggs Gallery, State University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, September 12- November 9, 1996; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio, December 5, 1997-February 1, 1998; The Mexican Museum, San Francisco, February 27-April 26, 1998.

In the Spirit of Resistance: African American Modernists and the Mexican Muralist School, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, September 15-December 1, 1996; African American Museum, Dallas, January 3-March 2, 1997; Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, March 26-May 25, 1997; Diggs Gallery, State University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, September 12-November 9, 1997; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio, December 5, 1997-February 8, 1998; The Mexican Museum, San Francisco, California, February 27-April 26, 1998, reproduced.

200 Years of American Art From the Forbes Magazine Collection, The Forbes Magazine Galleries, New York, May 26-September 4, 1999, No. 63.

Nexus New York: Latin/American Artists in the Modern Metropolis, El Museo del Barrio, October 17, 2009-February 28, 2010.

description

Miguel Covarrubias was an important Mexican painter, illustrator, and critic most recognized in America for his light-hearted, fanciful and satirical images which appeared in such major American magazines as The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

This work is a spoof of an incident leading to the destruction of the Diego Rivera mural commissioned for Rockefeller Center.  Here John D. Rockefeller, Jr. is depicted discovering the heretical image of Lenin in this citadel of capitalism, horror and disbelief reflected in his flinty gaze in contrast to the stoic calm of the Communist leader and the inspired will of his follower.

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