RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

David Alfaro Siqueiros at Olvera Street and East LA Murals


siqueiros mural olvera street

In 1932 Mexico’s muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros was invited to paint a mural on a building located at Olvera Street in the oldest part of Los Angeles. Eight years later the city fathers deemed it necessary to whitewash the artwork as it was too controversial. You can read about that part of the history here.

siqueiros mural olvera street

The good news is that after many starts and stops, in October of 2012, eighty years after the whitewashing, the restored América Tropical mural was once again open to the public thanks to a collaboration of the City of Los Angeles and the Getty Conservation Institute.

siqueiros mural olvera street

To see the mural, visitors must make a reservation. It can be seen across the roof of an adjacent building under a protective canopy. The América Tropical Interpretive Center on the ground level does not require reservations. There you can learn about the history of the mural and see a black & white copy pretty much full size.

east los angeles murals

In conjunction with the opening, the Getty offered a tour of the new Interpretive Center, the Siqueiros mural, and a bus tour of murals in East Los Angeles.

east los angeles murals

A friend and I signed up and it was quite an event. My only regret is that at the time I was still using my Olympus point & shoot camera. But it did a pretty good job of capturing the day with just a little help from Lightroom!

east los angeles murals

At each stop we were met by the artist (or one of the artists) who worked on that particular mural.

east los angeles murals

As this was over a year ago, unfortunately I misplaced the detailed information about each artist and mural on the tour.

east los angeles murals

You can see more of the murals in this gallery:

Last week some friends and I walked around East LA to revisit some of these murals and find some others. I posted about the decorated utility boxes we saw here. Photos of the murals we saw that day will be posted soon.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

2 thoughts on “David Alfaro Siqueiros at Olvera Street and East LA Murals

  1. So wonderful to see the the murals gallery. Great restoration work!


  2. Yes, Amy. Too bad Senor Siqueiros could not have been around to see his work restored. He passed in 1974…


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