The themes established on the east wall are continued on the west wall, where the technologies of the air (aviation) and water (shipping and pleasure boating) are represented in the upper panels. The half-face/half-skull in the central monochrome panel symbolizes both the coexistence of life and death as well as humanity's spiritual and physical aspects, while the star symbolizes aspirations and hope for civilization. This heraldic image introduces another major theme of the cycle: the dual qualities of human beings, nature, and technology. Vertical panels on each side of the west entrance to the court introduce the automobile industry theme through the representation of Power House No. I, the energy source for the Rouge complex.
Artist Diego M. Rivera
Mexican, 1886-1957
Title
  • Detroit Industry Murals
Date 1932-1933
Medium frescoes
Dimensions various dimensions
Credit Line Gift of Edsel B. Ford
Accession Number 33.10
Department American Art before 1950
On View Rivera Court C200, Level 2 (see map)
Signed various signatures on each wall
Inscriptions Inscribed, South wall lower register lower right of center panel (on sheet of paper): These frescoes | painted between July | 25 1932 and March 13 | 1933 while Dr. William | R. Valentiner was direc-| tor of the Art Institute | are the gift to the City | of Detroit of Mr. Edsel | B. Ford, President of the Art Commission.
1933-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
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