Detroit Industry Murals Production and Manufacture of Engine and Transmission, Detroit Industry, North Wall Automotive Panel, detail

Painted as part of a large commission for the city of Detroit, the Detroit Industry series is a prime example of Diego Rivera’s mastery of large-scale murals. Located in the eponymous city’s Institute of Art, the mural depicts both the specific industrial advances of the Ford Motor Company and the more general development of industry over time and space. The North Wall depicts the production of the 1932 Ford V-8 at the company’s River Rouge plant, the site of workers’ protests during the Great Depression. The figures work together amidst a backdrop of machinery and industry, creating one collective unit – a possible nod to Rivera’s own self-avowed Communist ideology.

Creator: Diego Rivera

Date: 1932-1939

Original Medium: Fresco

Original Size: 212 1/2 x 540 in.

Location: Detroit Institute of Arts