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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
At each stop we were met by the artist (or one of the artists) who worked on that particular mural.
As this was over a year ago, unfortunately I misplaced the detailed information about each artist and mural on the tour.
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.
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