George Lucas Eyes a Famous Diego Rivera


The New York Times is reporting that the financially troubled San Francisco Art Institute is contemplating the sale of its famed Diego Rivera mural, The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City (1931). George Lucas is said to be considering the purchase of the fresco for his Lucas Museum of Narrative Art under construction in Los Angeles. Talk of a possible sale of the Rivera has sparked condemnation from SFAI faculty and alumni.  

The mural has been appraised at $50 million, about five times SFAI's endowment. Transporting a 19 by 33-ft fresco painting on the 5 freeway(?!) could itself be a million-dollar undertaking.

Add in San Francisco-L.A. rivalry, and I'd say the chance of a sale to Lucas is just about zero. Still, the fact that Lucas is open to pursuing Mexican muralism—a "narrative art" that really matters—is encouraging going forward. 

UPDATE: San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted to grant landmark status to the Rivera mural. This would block a sale to Lucas.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I don't know why Lucas wouldn't want such a piece in his museum since it fits most of the criteria of so-called narrative art. It would also add a bit more substance - as judged by anti-Hollywood intellectuals - to his collection.

Beyond that, I can tell the Lucas's own top museum staffers will be doing more than their fair share of oh-so-hip, oh-so-courant, oh-so-relevant strategies once the place opens in Expo Park.
Anonymous said…
Lucas would be dumb not to buy this piece if it becomes available
Anonymous said…
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/12/arts/design/rivera-mural-to-become-landmark.html?action

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