Charles Laughton

Siqueiros in Los Angeles and His Collaborations with the California Art Club

Since so much has already been written about Siqueiros' work and politics, I wanted to focus specifically on his activities and the people he worked with during his brief time in Los Angeles. So below is the Director's Cut of my article that will appear in the Spring 2010 Issue of the California Art Club Newsletter. A large Siqueiros exhibit will be opening this September at the Autry National Center of the American West, coinciding with the centennial of the Mexican Revolution. Due to copyrights on photos of Siqueiros and his art, you'll either have to Google images of the artist and his murals or get a hard copy of the Newsletter itself. Cheers!

Siqueiros in Los Angeles and His Collaborations with the California Art Club

© By Eric J. Merrell

Although David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) spent only a short time in Los Angeles, forced to return to Mexico in November 1932 [1] after his visa expired and was not renewed [2], it was a period of busy innovation for the artist. Along with attending meetings, giving lectures, painting portraits and presenting exhibitions, the artist created four frescos that would gain him instant notoriety for their controversial content as well as for the subsequent aftershocks that surged throughout the city. In most of these events, members of the California Art Club (CAC) aided Siqueiros.

Born in Camargo, in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, Siqueiros, whose art would speak of a strong identification with the Mexican Revolution (1910-20) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), was first exposed to radical political ideas as an adolescent. The young Siqueiros and his two siblings were sent by their father, Cipriano Alfaro, to be  raised in the country by their paternal grandparents, Antonio Alfaro Sierra and his wife Eusebita (Siqueiros’ mother had died when he was two years old).  Grandfather Antonio had been a heroic guerilla fighter in the Republican Army of Benito Juárez (1806-1872), earning himself the nickname Siete Filos (“Seven Blades”). In 1911, at age fifteen and back in Mexico City with his father (who had decided he could raise the children better himself), Siqueiros participated in the famous student strike at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts, arguing for the “discontinuance of Academic methods.” The students demanded the removal of the Academy's Director, the architect Antonio Ribas Mercado (1853-1927), and “the nomination of the liberal painter Alfredo Ramos Martinez [1871-1946].[3] These protests eventually led to the formation of an “open-air” academy in Santa Anita. Around this time the young artist also began to clash with his father, a strict Catholic of the bourgeois class; as a result Siqueiros ran away from home, never going back. Soon afterwards, in 1914 and not quite eighteen, he and several fellow students joined the Constitutional Army of Venustiano Carranza de la Garza (1859-1920), which later fought against José Doroteo Arango Arámbula (1878-1923), (a.k.a. Pancho Villa), and Emiliano Zapata Salazar (1879-1919) for control. [4]

In late 1922 Siqueiros and fellow artists, Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and Xavier Guerrero (1896-1974), [5] created the famed but short-lived Revolutionary Syndicate of Technical Workers, Painters & Sculptors, a major proponent of the new mural renaissance. [6] Prominent artists José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949) and Francisco Goitia (1882-1960) [7] were also members along with Roberto Montenegro (1885-1968) [8]. The Syndicate’s newspaper, El Machete, helped energize the resurgence, with much of its radical ideological and political content written and edited by Siqueiros himself. Siqueiros, Orozco and Rivera are often referred to as Los Trés Grandes or “The Big Three,” acknowledging their stature as the top three Mexican muralists of their time.

After being jailed in 1930 for his role in inciting the May Day pro-communist demonstrations in Mexico City, Siqueiros was confined to the nearby village of Taxco through early 1932, his activities closely watched by the government. While sequestered there, he met many artists and others of a sympathetic mindset, including Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (1898-1948) the Soviet filmmaker and Nelbert Murphy Chouinard (1879-1969), an artist who in 1921 founded the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles. Mrs. Chouinard had established the school with the idea of creating a new place for modern art to be taught, and invited Siqueiros to teach a course in fresco painting. [9]

To earn some income while in Taxco, Siqueiros accepted a number of portrait commissions and eventually completed nearly seventy works, including oils, woodcuts, lithographs and watercolors for his first one-man exhibition entitled Casino Español, held in Mexico City from January 25 to February 15, 1932. [10] On February 18 Siqueiros closed his exhibition with another politically-charged speech. The speech was so successful that, despite Siqueiros’ fomentations, the government of Plutarco Elías Calles (1877-1945) had no choice but to give Siqueiros the option of either going into exile or returning to the seclusion of Taxco. (Siqueiros also later claimed that Calles ordered him killed). Siqueiros made the decision to leave Mexico. [11]

As early as April 17, 1932, news of Siqueiros’ arrival, accompanied by his Uruguay-born wife, the poet Blanca Luz Brum Elizalde (1905-1985), spread quickly throughout Los Angeles’ art community. [12] Siqueiros quickly set to work, and on May 7th an exhibition of the his recent work opened at Stendahl’s Ambassador Hotel Galleries, [13] where “fifty paintings, lithographs, and mural designs” [14] were on view through May 31st. [15] On May 9th Jacob IsraelJake” Zeitlin (1902-1987) hosted a separate exhibition in his downtown Los Angeles bookshop, which had become a gathering ground for the local intelligentsia, focusing on Siqueiros’ lithographs from Taxco. [16] Both Stendahl and Zeitlin produced exhibition catalogues for their shows, but those catalogues are presumed lost today. [17]

Zeitlin had begunhis career as a book dealer in April 1927 by selling them out of a suitcase. Soon he opened his first bookstore in a small building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) and located at 567 South Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles. The following year Zeitlin's bookstore began hosting art exhibits, the first in May 1928 by photographer Edward Weston (1886-1958), later including Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) and Peter Krasnow (1886-1979), among others. At a future location Zeitlin presented the first Western American exhibit of German artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) in 1937. [18]

At the end of May, the Stendahl-Siqueiros exhibition travelled to the Plaza Art Center in historic Olvera Street, where it was on view from June 1st through the 10th. [19] Also during this time the Los Angeles Times reported that Siqueiros had painted a 40” x 48” portrait of Josef Von Sternberg (1894-1969), Director of Paramount Pictures, a well-known collector “of the most violent modern art.” [20] It is believed that Sternberg helped to bring Siqueiros, with his paintings and lithographs, across the border. [21]

In early June Siquieros was contacted by CAC Member Millard Owen Sheets (1907-1989), at that time a young watercolorist teaching at Chouinard, to conduct a fresco class at the school. [22] A new class, composed of professional artists and graduate students, began creating their own fresco “blocks” by utilizing plywood frames and chicken wire layered with plaster. Before long the popular course would lead to a second class. “Enthusiastic over the classical method of painting watercolor into wet lime plaster” wrote the Times, the equipo or team that would work on the mural dubbed themselves the “Fresco Block,” though it was later renamed the “Block (or Bloc) of Mural Painters” by Siqueiros (who used both spellings himself, sometimes in the same correspondence). [23]

The team included: Luis Arenal (1909-1985), Thomas Montague Beggs (1899-1990) [head of the art department at Pomona College, 1926-47], Lee Everett Blair (1911-1993), Henri Gilbert de Kruif (1882-1944), Robert Merrell Gage (1892-1981), Donald Wilkinson Graham (1903-1976), Philip Guston (1913-1980), Murray Hantman (1904-1999), Reuben Kadish (1913-1992), Harold Lehman (1913-2006), Fletcher Martin (1904-1979), Katherine McEwen (1875-1945), Barse Miller (1904-1973), Phillip “Phil” Herschel Paradise (1905-1997), Paul Starrett Sample (1896-1974), Myer Shaffer, and Millard Sheets. [24] Five were CAC members: de Kruif, Gage, Miller, Sample and Sheets. Gage was the current CAC President, Sample having held the post in 1931; Miller was First Vice President during this period. [25] The team assisted Siqueiros as he worked on his first Los Angeles mural, Street Meeting, a 19 by 24 foot fresco executed on an exterior wall at Chouinard.

Later, after Siqueiros returned to Mexico, the Block of Mural Painters assisted in a campaign organized by the Hollywood John Reed Club behalf of the Scottsboro Boys, nine young black defendants in Alabama on trial for rape charges. The John Reed Club, named and the journalist and communist activist John Reed, was founded in October of 1929 to support leftist and Marxist artists and writers, and was officially affiliated with Moscow in November 1930. In preparation for a John Reed Club-sponsored exhibition in December 1932 at the California Art Club's Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park, Block members created a series of transportable panels portraying racial violence. However, the night before the panels were to be displayed, The Los Angeles Police Department Red Squad “confiscated the unveiled mural panels and returned them full of bullet holes.” [26]

During the planning stages of Street Meeting, Siqueiros consulted with world-famous architect and CAC member Richard Josef Neutra (1892-1970) [27] and Sumner Spalding (1892-1952), [28] also an architect, about new approaches to conserve the outdoor mural from southern California's warm climate. [29] Although a fresco of this type would normally take four months to complete, Siqueiros’ “radical experimentation” with airbrush or paint “guns” allowed him to finish Street Meeting in two weeks. [30] Interestingly, on both the Chouinard and subsequent Olvera Street murals, Siqueiros reportedly completed the paintings alone: after professing fatigue and the others had left, the artist would continue to work late into the night. [31]

While working on Street Meeting, Siqueiros was the guest of honor and principal speaker at a dinner meeting of the California Art Club on June 17, 1932 at the Hollyhock House. Also present was Alfredo Ramos Martinez, founder of the open-air art schools of Mexico City, one of Siqueiros’ early instructors now living in Los Angeles, and Regino Hernandez Lilergo, editor of La Opinión, a Spanish language daily of the city. José Arias and four members of his Troubadours Mejicanos, who were also playing at the Teatro Leo Carrillo on Olvera Street, presented music for the evening. Martinez became a CAC member, probably at that meeting. [32] (José Clemente Orozco was a CAC dinner guest earlier on April 17, 1930 while in the midst of his work on the Prometheus murals at Pomona College. [33])

On July 7, 1932, eight hundred people attended the evening dedication and unveiling of Street Meeting. Los Angeles Times art critic Arthur Millier (1893-1975) introduced Siqueiros who gave a speech entitled “The Mexican Renaissance,” denouncing “capitalism, North American imperialism, and ‘snob’ easel painting.” [34] The program was arranged by “the art committee of the association for founding the New School for Social Research in Los Angeles.” The committee consisted of Millier as Chairman, Mexican Consul Joaquin Terrazas, Mrs. Chouinard, Ted Cook, Plaza Art Center Director Franz K. Ferenz (1889-1956), Gage, Neutra, Spaulding and Zeitlin. [35] Siqueiros’ depiction of a union organizer speaking to a multi-ethnic crowd “of twenty figures” [36] was met with somewhat of a mixed public response: some viewed it as “bold and powerful painting unlike anything previously done in Southern California,” while others saw in it too much political commentary and “the dull red glow of Communism.” [37] Also on exhibit that night were other paintings and lithographs by Siqueiros, as well as some of the first fresco experiments created by his students. [38]

There is disagreement about what subsequently happened to Street Meeting. Siqueiros claimed that “unceasing newspaper criticism” forced Mrs. Chouinard to construct a wall in front of the mural, and the mural was subsequently destroyed. But in a later account he contradicted himself, implying that the mural was destroyed by the artists themselves because it was “only [a] simple class exercise in mural painting.” [39] Though Merrell Gage remembers that “police…descended on the school to inform Mrs. Chouinard [that] the mural had to be removed,” and she then painted over it, Sheets, Paradise, Beggs and Millier all believed that the “experimental airbrush technique [Siqueiros] used was so faulty [that] the colors either chipped or ran from the wall with the first rain and had to be whitewashed.” [40]

The charge of Communism was not without merit. An art instructor, Grace Richardson Clements (1905-1969), who taught at the Stickney School and at Chouinard, and was a member of the Hollywood John Reed Club, wrote a letter to Louis Lozowick (1892-1973) of the New York branch of the John Reed Club stating “Comrade Siqueiros is at the present time in L.A….at the Chouinard Art School where he has also had a class in fresco painting – the members of which he claims to have ‘propagandized’ under his tutelage and should supply at least a few possible members…” Siqueiros later gave a lecture to the Hollywood John Reed Club titled “The Vehicles of Dialectic-Subversive Painting.” [41] (As guest speaker at an April 1, 1932 CAC dinner meeting, Lozowick delivered an address titled “The Evolution of Modern Art.” [42])

Although Siqueiros’ communist sympathies were well known, an amusing exchange took place during a 1935 conference at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City when he was “expounding his theories” on the podium. In the rear of the audience Diego Rivera became incensed at some of Siqueiros’ statements, and suddenly, stood up and attempted to shoot him, but was prevented at the last moment by audience members. A debate was set up for the following day; at issue was the charge that “neither was sufficiently Communist.” [43]

Shortly after the unveiling of Street Meeting Siqueiros received a new proposition from the Plaza Art Center’s Director and CAC member Ferenz [44] to paint another mural at Olvera Street. This project called for a much larger team of assistants under Siqueiros’ instruction, as the new project would tackle a wall measuring 82 by 18 feet on the second story of an old Italian Hall.[45] The internationally-known artist Dean Cornwell (1892-1960), along with Karoly Fulop (1893-1963) and Frederick John Vrain Schwankowsky (1885-1974) were three known CAC members in this larger team of assistants.

Earlier in 1931 Cornwell gave an intimate and informal talk at a CAC dinner, at the time when he was finishing five years of work on the murals in the rotunda of the Los Angeles Public Library, [46] where he was assisted by artist and CAC member Theodore Nikolai Lukits (1897-1992). [47] (Cornwell became a member of the CAC in April 1932 and also served as a juror that year for the Club's 23rd Annual Exhibition. [48]

Twenty-nine artists (including four women) assisted Siqueiros on América Tropical, which would become his best-known mural in L.A. They included Jean Osborne Abel (1906-1991), Maria Andrade (1882-), Luis Arenal, Jacob Assanger, Peter Ballbusch (1902-1966) [who worked for MGM], Victor Hugo Basinet (1889-1956), Dean Cornwell, Karoly Fulop, Dorothy Virginia Groton (1902-1984) [who married Ferenz in 1946], James Hyde, Wiard Boppo Ihnen (1897-1979), Murray Hantman, Harold Hemenway Jones (1901-1989), Arthur Hinchman, Stephen de Hospodar (1902-1959), Reuben Kadish, John Kehoe, Richard Franz Kollorsz (1900-1983) [close friend of director Josef Von Sternburg], Martin Felix Obzina (1892-1992), Sanford L. Pollock (1910-) [brother of artist Jackson Pollock], Leandro and Tony Reveles [or Revels], Frederick John Vrain Schwankowsky, Myer Shaffer, Jean Stewart, Ivan Stoppe (1904-1971), Jeannette Summers, Wolo von Trutzschler (1902-1989) [established a studio on Olvera St. in 1927] and John Weiskal (1894-1984). [49]

While the Chouinard fresco may have attempted to leave a touch of ambiguity in its message, the Olvera Street mural, América Tropical, was unashamed in its depiction of a crucified indigenous native, despite the fact that the commission had hoped for “a cheerful tropical paradise.” [50] Scaffolding was erected and work was begun in late August; spray guns were again used to apply the color, but now Siqueiros experimented with using Portland cement as a base. In the center of the fresco, the native is tied to a double crucifix, above which sits a screaming eagle; this drama is viewed directly in front of a giant Mayan-esque pyramid in the jungle. With two native snipers eyeing the eagle from atop a structure at the far right side of the mural, giant writhing trees flowing throughout the composition, and all painted in “brilliant color,” the effect was dazzling. Siqueiros put the final touches to his Olvera Street mural just as his six month visitor’s permit expired. [51] Indeed, at the October 9th unveiling at which Cornwell gave an address, it was reported that the crowd “gasped” when the scaffolding was finally removed. [52] For a second time, opinions of the mural were sharply divided. Great admiration came from the artists, like CAC member Lorser Feitelson (1898-1978) [53] who recalled “…it had guts in it! It made everything else of the time look like candybox illustrations. Many of the artists said, ‘My God! This is wonderful vocabulary!’” [54]

But there was a muted seething from city officials, and southern California’s sunny skies wouldn’t gaze down on the mural for very long. [55] At some point between Siqueiros’ looming departure and April 1934, [56] Ferenz was obliged to paint over part of the mural, notably the right-hand section which could be seen from the street, though he made sure “a harmless covering” was employed. [57]

Mrs. Christine Sterling (1881-1963), often referred to as the “mother of Olvera Street” for her efforts (starting in 1926) to revitalize the historic area with the help of Harry Chandler (1864-1944), publisher of the Los Angeles Times, [58] later “would only renew the lease of the upstairs club, which had become a bar, on condition the fresco was completely covered.” By 1973, the fresco was in such disrepair that two restorers from Mexico were of the opinion that restoration was impossible. [59] Sterling also apparently offered the CAC an exhibition space (“a large upstairs hall”) on Olvera Street in 1930, although it is unknown if this ever came to fruition. [60]

Around the time Siqueiros was working on América Tropical, he also served on the painting jury for the 1932 Summer Olympics (officially the Games of the X Olympiad). The Olympic art exhibition was held at the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art in Exposition Park (renamed “Olympic Park” for the Games); [61] joining him on the jury was the third CAC president [1915-16], Benjamin Chambers Brown (1865-1942). During September, Millier reported in the Times of another mural in progress, knowledge of which seems almost completely omitted from the record today: “A third [unnamed] fresco by Siqueiros is now in process, this time in the auditorium of the John Reed Club of Hollywood. The four walls are to be covered with a mural symbolic of the cultural role of the club, it is announced. The work will be done, as at Chouinard and the Plaza Art Center, by a class of students working with the noted Mexican.”[62] Grace Clements confirms the account: “Out of a lecture which Siqueiros gave at the John Reed Club of Hollywood, grew an interest to construct a mural in the auditorium of the club. Such a mural…is now in progress…In powerful perspective across the wall which faces the proscenium, march the ordered ranks of the international proletariat…”[63]

The fourth Los Angeles mural, Portrait of Mexico Today, is the only one that survives intact today. It was executed on a sheltered exterior wall of the private Santa Monica [64] home of film director Dudley Murphy (1897-1968). A close friend of Sergei Eisenstein, Murphy also collaborated with artists like Fernand Léger (1881-1955), Ezra Pound (1885-1972) and Man Ray (1890-1976). In an unpublished memoir, Murphy writes that “to help [Siqueiros] out, I…held a three day exhibition of… [his] paintings in my house.” Actors Charles Laughton (1899-1962), Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) and Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) came, as well as Josef Von Sternberg, and Siqueiros sold about ten of his paintings. [65]

On this mural, measuring a bit smaller than the others at 8 feet high by 32 feet long, [66] Siqueiros had the help of three artists from the Chouinard team: Arenal, Martin and Kadish. [67] One speculation offered is that Siqueiros took the commission to escape the uproar he had created on Olvera Street. Also, since his visa was now expired, working away from the public eye at a private house would keep the officials at bay at least a little longer.

Originally titled Delivery of the Mexican Bourgeoisie Born of the Revolution into the Hands of Imperialism, the mural was re-named Portrait of Mexico Today. It portrayed Mexican President Calles, (whose government had previously exiled Siqueiros from Mexico), money bags at his feet and a mask falling from his face, along with forlorn women, a naked child, and two assassinated peasants along with a Red Army soldier. At one end Siqueiros painted a gold-framed picture of American financier J. P. Morgan (1837-1913), whom Siqueiros implicated for his involvement in the Mexican oil industry and subsequently the poor condition of that country.

Although slightly delayed, his lack of a valid permit forced Siqueiros to leave the United States in late 1932. In 1946, Dudley Murphy sold his house to Minna and Willard Coe (Willard, ironically, was a nephew of J.P. Morgan). The couple originally planned to cover up the mural, but Murphy eventually persuaded them to preserve it. Robert and Justine Bloomingdale purchased the house and mural in 1986, and in 2001, gifted Portrait of Mexico Today to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. [68] Seen for the first time publicly on October 20th, 2002 at the museum, [69] seventy years after it was created, Portrait of Mexico Today is one of the few tangible works left of Siqueiros’ immense mark on Los Angeles.


Recent Developments: In January 2005 an article in the Los Angeles Times revealed that after some preliminary tests at the old Chouinard building, now a Korean Presbyterian Church, conservators believe that  the Street Meeting mural is at least partially intact, its bright colors surviving under layers of paint. At that time in 2005, the Chouinard School of Art had been reformed in South Pasadena (the original school closed in 1972) [70] by artist Dave Tourje, who had inadvertently purchased Mrs. Chouinard’s former home there. Although the article is cautiously optimistic, it also says that nothing further will be done in the near future, at least not until the building is secured and has an owner who will work with the conservators in its preservation. [71]

There has also been a push to rediscover and preserve América Tropical on Olvera Street, on-going since the early 1970s but only now gaining steam. Los Angeles and its Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have partnered with the Getty Institute and its Director Tim Whalen to preserve the landmark; though instead of restoring or repainting the faded mural, the Getty has painstakingly worked to preserve what is left. Although far from a done deal, the current plan to have the site restored for public viewing seems on track and is set to be finished by September 2010, the centennial of the Mexican Revolution with which Siqueiros identified so strongly. The historic Sepulveda House on Olvera Street will house an interpretive center for exhibitions, as well as contain a color replica of what the mural might have looked like. [72]

[1] Laurance P. Hurlburt, The Mexican Muralists in the United States, University of New Mexico Press,1989, p.205

[2] Shifra M. Goldman, Siqueiros and Three Early Murals in Los Angeles, Art Journal, Summer 1974 XXXIII/4, p.322

[3] Strike of the Plastic Art Students, Siqueiros Papers, Getty Research Institute, Box 3, folder 3-29

[4] Philip Stein, “Siqueiros: His Life and Works,” New York International Publishers, 1994, p.14-16

[5] Guerrero dates: (

[6] Desmond Rochfort, Mexican Muralists, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1993, p.38

[7] Art: Intrinsically Native, Time, September 30, 1929 (,9171,737946,00.html);

[8] Grace Clements, Fresco as a Subversive Art, p.2, Siqueiros Papers (acc. 960094), Getty Research Institute, box 3, folder 3-24

[9] Rochfort, p.145

[10] Casino Español exhibition catalogues – “Exposicion de Sesenta Obras del Pintor David Alfaro Siqueiros,” “Clausura de la Exposicion Siqueiros,” Siqueiros Papers, box 1, folder 1-14, Getty Research Institute

[11] Hurlburt, p.203-205; footnote #29, p.283

[12] Arthur Millier, Brushstrokes, Los Angeles Times, April 17, 1932, B14

[13] Ibid; Arthur Millier, Brushstrokes, Los Angeles Times, May 29, 1932, B8; Goldman, p.322. Goldman lists the Stendahl opening date as May 12 or 13, “four days later” after the May 9 opening at Zeitlin’s.

[14] Goldman, p.322

[15] Millier, Brushstrokes, May 29, 1932

[16] Goldman, p.322

[17] Goldman, footnote #13, p.327

[18] Jacob L. Chernofsky, Jake Zeitlin, Impresario of the Printed Word, Cite AB October 5, 1987, p.1269-72;,%20impresario%20of%20the%20printed%20word.pdf

[19] Millier, Brushstrokes, May 29, 1932

[20] Goldman, p.322

[21] Arthur Millier, Von Sternberg Dotes on Portraits of Himself, Los Angeles Times, June 19, 1932, B13; Goldman, p.322

[22] Goldman, p.322. Though it appears Mrs. Chouinard made the initial offer of the fresco class to Siqueiros while in Taxco, Sheets might have been following up on that offer once Siqueiros was in L.A.

[23] Goldman, p.322

[24] Goldman, footnote #19, p.327. Arthur Millier noted that fifteen artists formed “The Fresco Block,” though he doesn’t specify whom in his article. (Arthur Millier, “Guns” Turn Patio Wall Into Fresco, Los Angeles Times, July 3, 1932, B5)

[25] Sarah Schrank adds seven more to Goldman’s ten Block members: Arenal, Guston, Hantman, Kadish, Lehman, Martin, and Shaffer. [Sarah Schrank, Art and the City: Civic Imagination and Cultural Authority in Los Angeles, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008, footnote #26, p.180]

[26] Schrank, p.51; Harold Lehman biography,

[27] Neutra became a member in February 1929, and was often present at meetings and dinners. [Welcome!, CAC Bulletin, February 1929, Vol. IV No. 2, p.6]

[28] Spalding dates: Andy Jelmert & Michael Locke, Edwin Loeb Estate, Sumner Spaulding Architect 1940 (with alterations by Richard Neutra (1948), Silver Lake Architecture

[29] Rochfort, p.146

[30] Millier, “Guns”

[31] Goldman, p.323; Hurlburt, footnote #34, p.284

[32] June Meetings, Welcome New Members, California Art Club Bulletin, July 1932, Vol. VII No. 7, p.1,3

[33] Announcement: April Dinner, CAC Bulletin, April 1930, Vol. V No. 4, p.2; The April Dinner, CAC Bulletin, May 1930, Vol. V. No. 5, p.2

[34] Hurlburt, p.207

[35]Ibid.; Arthur Millier, Outdoor Fresco Art Unveiled This Evening, Los Angeles Times, July 7, 1932, A10

[36] David Alfaro Siqueiros, The Vehicles of Dialectic Subversive Painting, p.1, Siqueiros Papers, box 2, folder 2-32, Getty Research Institute

[37] Goldman, p.323

[38] Art Events During the Week, Los Angeles Times, July 3, 1932, B6

[39] Hurlburt, footnote #35, p.284

[40] Goldman, p.323; Interview with Beggs, March 5, 1980, Hurlburt, footnote #30, p.283

[41] Hurlburt, p.206; Clements letter to Lozowick, July 26, 1932, Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C.

[42] Louis Lozowick, CAC Bulletin, April 1932, Vol. VII No. 4

[43] Art: Honor Among Revolutionaries, Time, September 9, 1935;,9171,748989,00.html

[44] Ferenz became a member at the same time Neutra did in 1929. [Welcome!, CAC Bulletin, February 1929, Vol. IV No. 2, p.6]

[45] Millier’s earlier articles (Huge Fresco, Aug. 24, & Great Art, Oct. 9, 1932) specify those dimensions; Goldman’s article gives the dimensions as 16 by 80 feet.

[46] Goldman, p.323

[47] From photographs of Lukits and Cornwell working on the Public Library murals, in the collection of Morseburg Galleries, Los Angeles, CA.

[48] New Members, CAC Bulletin, April 1932, p.2; Twenty-Third Annual CAC Exhibition catalogue; The Club Dinner, Notes from Business Meeting, Echoes From Cornwall, CAC Bulletin, July-Aug. 1931, Vol. VI No. 7, p.2-4

[49] Arthur Millier, Huge Fresco for El Paseo, Los Angeles Times, August 24, 1932, p.15; Great Art Work to be Unveiled, Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1932, p.11; Goldman, footnote #26, p.327. Artist dates compiled from

[50] Susan Emerling, A Wall on the Fly, Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2002

[51] Arthur Millier, Power Unadorned Marks Olvera Street Fresco, Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1932, B16

[52] Great Art, op. cit.; Siqueiros Plaza Art Dedicated, Los Angeles Times, October 10, 1932, A2

[53] Honorary CAC Artist and member, 1964 CAC Roster

[54] Goldman, p.325

[55] Loc. cit.; Nieto, loc. cit.

[56] Hurlburt, op. cit, p.213

[57] Goldman, loc. cit.

[58] Goldman p.325;

[59] Goldman, op. cit., p.324-5

[60] An Exhibition Opportunity, CAC Bulletin, September 1930, Vol. V No.9, p.1

[61] Art Juries Will Finish Task Today, Los Angeles Times, July 28, 1932, A1; Olympic Art Jurors Honored by Museum Board, Los Angeles Times, July 29, 1932, A12; Margaret Nieto, Mapping of a Decade: Los Angeles During the 1930’s,

[62] Arthur Millier, Brushstrokes, Los Angeles Times, September 18, 1932, B16

[63] Clements, Fresco as a Subversive Art, p.7

[64] Some accounts of Murphy’s house place it in Pacific Palisades or Malibu.

[65] Emerling, loc. cit.; Hispanic News, loc. cit.

[66] Emerling, loc. cit. Schrank [p.51] lists the same dimensions, which equals 256 sq. ft.; Goldman cites “172 square feet,” p.326

[67] Schrank, loc. cit.

[68] Emerling, loc. cit.

[69] Diana C. du Pont, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Imagery and Aesthetics of David Alfaro Siqueiros' “Portrait of Mexico Today, 1932,” Santa Barbara Museum of Art,


[71] For developments with the Chouinard mural, please see Suzanne Muchnic’s article, Art: They’ve Barely Scratched the Surface; Under Layers of Paint and Structural Work, a 1932 Mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros is Found. Will It Ever See the Light of Day?, Los Angeles Times, January 9, 2005, E1

[72] For developments with the Olvera Street mural, please see Agustin Gurza, Political Muscle Pumps 1932 Mural’s Return, Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2008, E1