Partnerships Diego Rivera’s America and Pan American Unity

Exhibition sponsor

Diego Rivera’s America and Pan American Unity
Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886–1957)
The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Content (Pan American Unity) (detail), 1940
Ten fresco panels
22’ × 74’ (6.7 × 22.5 m)

© 2022 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image: courtesy City College of San Francisco

Bank of America is pleased to sponsor the exhibition Diego Rivera’s America and the display of Rivera’s mural Pan American Unity. The monumental fresco is currently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), prior to the exhibition’s opening in July 2022.

On loan from the City College of San Francisco’s Diego Rivera Theatre, The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent—more commonly known as Pan American Unity—will be installed in SFMOMA’s free-to-visit Roberts Family Gallery on the museum’s ground floor. The museum will host a series of related interpretive and educational programs, both online and in person.

As part of the Art in Action program at the Golden Gate International Exposition on San Francisco’s Treasure Island, which featured the works of local and international artists, Rivera executed the 22-foot-high, 74-foot-wide mural in 1940 before audiences of fairgoers. The artist described the mural as “… the fusion between the great past of the Latin American lands, as it is deeply rooted in the soil, and the high mechanical developments of the United States.”

Pan American Unity was recently conserved through the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. Identifying and addressing structural weakness was critical to ensuring safety during the relocation of this colossal work. After an assessment in 1999 revealed hairline cracks in the upper panels, the conservator recommended a more thorough analysis of the mural’s condition. Treatment went beyond previous conservation efforts and covered an examination and evaluation of the hidden layers within and behind the fresco.

The Pan American Unity display will continue to be on view throughout the run of Diego Rivera’s America, on view from July 16, 2022 through January 1, 2023. The exhibition is the most in-depth examination of the artist’s work in more than twenty years, featuring 160 works he created over the course of more than two decades, from the 1920s through the early 1940s.

Informed by Rivera’s life experiences in both Mexico and the United States and revealing his ambitious vision to forge a national identity for Mexico and a reimagining of North America’s shared past and future, the collected works include the greatest number of paintings and drawings brought together since the artist’s lifetime. Presented alongside fresco panels, mural sketches and cartoons, the exhibition will highlight the close relationship between Rivera’s mural and studio practices, revealing fresh insights into his artistic process.

Exhibition photo

Diego Rivera’s America and Pan American Unity
Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886–1957)
The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent (aka Pan American Unity), 1940
Ten fresco panels
22’ × 74’ (6.7 × 22.5 m)

© 2022 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image: courtesy City College of San Francisco

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