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The Diego Rivera Special Collection is housed in the Russell M. Posner Reading Room inside the Rosenberg Library in Room 510. Drop in hours to view the collection are Fridays from 9-1pm or by appointment with librarian, Mauro Garcia, or Will Maynez. The Diego Rivera Special Collection consists of approximately 400 cataloged titles focusing on the life and work of Diego Rivera and artists who assisted him in his work. The collection focuses on Rivera’s murals particularly the Pan American Unity Mural at CCSF. The collection also contains valuable, uncataloged primary material such as letters, oral interviews, realia, and photographs. Three file cabinets contain files of secondary material related to the mural, Rivera’s life and work, and local SF/Bay Area artists from Rivera’s era here, 1930s-1940s. To a lesser degree, the collection also contains material about artist Frida Kahlo. The collection is non-circulating but photocopies may be made of most items.
Highlights of the collection include an hour-long sound recording made by Rivera in 1955, two years before his death, where he talks about his life, his art, his politics, and Pan American Unity; articles Rivera wrote for the Russian Hill Runt (“I am not a communist”) and Esquire magazine; Hundreds of pages of letters and other primary material related to Rivera and his contemporaries photocopied from Archives around the United States and Mexico including Pan American Unity Lead Assistant Emmy Lou Packard’s research on Rivera and binders of information generated by famed architect and GGIE Chairman of the Fine Arts Committee Timothy Pflueger; dozens of photographs of Rivera and his assistants creating the mural; a copy of Diego Rivera, the Complete Murals which reproduces 47 Rivera murals made in Mexico and the United States; and a copy of Rivera and Kahlo’s marriage license, issued by San Francisco City Hall in December, 1940.
There is also a beautiful collection of framed photographs about the creation of the mural on permanent exhibition in the Posner Reading Room. The collection contains photos of the mural in progress, the Golden Gate International Exposition, Diego and Frida, Edward G. Robinson, Emmy Lou Packard and others.