Rivera drawing show opens at the SF Museum of Art (SFMA)
The Nazi Line "Columbus" hastily leaves Vera Cruz, Mexico
Nazi ships left stranded all over the world since the September 1 start of WWII are desperately trying to get back to Germany. This ship figures as the "Cristoforus" in Rivera's third "HOY" article on January 13, 1940. In this article Rivera perhaps takes too much credit for the events that ensue.
Emmy Lou Packard's husband dies.
Emmy Lou, who will become the primary assistant on the "Pan American Unity" mural loses her husband, Burton Donald Cairns to an auto accident in Portland, OR. She will be in NY looking for work when she gets the call in August 1940 to help Rivera.
"The Truth About Finland"
This is the first of four articles Rivera will write for the tabloid "HOY." In this article Rivera explains the rationale for the USSR invasion of Finland. The USSR's trouble in subduing Finland may influence Hitler's plans to later invade his current ally.
Francis Lederer opens in "No Time for Comedy"
Lederer, who is opposite Edward G. Robinson in the mural's reference to "Confessions of A Nazi Spy," gets good revues for this offering at the Curran Theater in San Francisco.
"Mexico, Battlefield of the Secret Armies"
This is Rivera's second "HOY" article. The FBI translate this article and conclude, "It is believed that Rivera will either meet with personal harm or will be deported from Mexico within the near future."
"In Mexico, There's Also a War"
Rivera's third "HOY" article.
"Posters appeared throughout Mexico advocating the expulsion of Diego Rivera"
Per the FBI report Rivera is labeled a "traitor and Jew faker."
"How the Stalinazi Agents Work in Mexico"
Rivera's fourth article in "HOY".
Early in the month Rivera meets with U.S. Consular staff in regards to a Mexican Communist Party (PCM) document that has come into their hands.
Rivera signs contract to paint in San Francisco
SF Architect Timothy Pflueger personally goes to Mexico City to invite Diego Rivera to participate in the Art in Action program at the 1940 season of the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. They sign a handwritten contract in which Rivera is paid for living and travel expenses. Rivera donates his efforts on the mural destined for City College of San Francisco, which Pflueger is concurrently building.
Paulette Goddard goes to Mexico
Somewhere about the middle of the month, Charlie Chaplin's wife will travel on Pan Am with her mother and LOOK magazine photographer Earl Theisen to stay at the Hotel Reforma. Two issues of the magazine will relate her stay in Mexico. In 1937 George Gershwin had suggested she go and get her portrait painted by his friend, Diego Rivera. She has finished shooting "The Great Dictator," which Chaplin is still editing.(We have a copy of a charming drawing of Rivera done by Gershwin in 1935.)
Among the group of assassins, dressed as police, was David Alfaro Siqueiros, As one of Los Tres Grandes, he, Rivera, and Orozco had taken the most prominent roles in the Mexican muralism movement. This is a later photo of him with Rivera.
Several days after the failed attempt on Trotsky's life, "police" surround Rivera's San Angel studio. The would-be Trotsky assassins led by Siqueiros had come dressed as police. Paulette Goddard, who is now escounced at the San Angel Inn, across the street from the studio, helps Rivera escape.
Dudley Carter carves the "Bighorn Mountain Ram" from redwood.
Dudley finished this piece so quickly, the Fair asked him to carve another piece. "The Goddess of the Forest", which he carved next, also resides at City College of San Francisco. Dudley cleaned up the "Ram" in 1983, removing layers of paint from the school mascot with the same ax he used to create it. He died in 1992 near the age of 101.
Photo from Bancroft Library, UCB
More info on Dudley Carter
Rivera arrives in San Francisco
Earlier he had parted company with Paulette Goddard at the LA airport, where they had flown in from Texas on their journey from Mexico. She had gone to Mexico at the suggestion of George Gershwin to get her portrait painted by Rivera.
Charlie Chaplin will start re-write of Final Speech for "The Great Dictator>"
Art in Action at the Golden Gate International Exposition
Art In Action program was Timothy Pflueger's answer to art for the 1940 season. Rivera would headline a cadre of artists working in front of the public. The previous season's art had been packed hurriedly upon the outbreak of WWII in Europe on September 1, 1939. The piece shown here now adorns the eastern side of Pflueger's City College Science Building. On campus Olmsted subsequently carved a like-size image of Edison and painted murals in the building's lobby.
Picasso Show opens at SFMA
"Picasso: Forty years of His Art" opens at the SF Museum of Art.
"Guernica" is on display until July 22.
Rivera, Edward G. Robinson, and art dealer Sam Salz visit in Rivera's studio behind the mural in June 1940.
Sam Salz's clients include Robinson and Erich Maria Remarque, who would be Paulette Goddard's last husband. (The date is an approximation)
Photo courtesy of Marc Salz
Errol Flynn in "The Sea Hawk" opens
The Sea Hawk
At the end of the movie Queen Elizabeth makes a speech sub silentio which can be taken to refer to England fighting off the Nazis. It is evocative of the speech that Charlie Chaplin makes at the end of "The Great Dictator."
Vacation in Mexico
First of two articles in LOOK magazine about Paulette Goddard's visit to Mexico in May-June. (Second installment July 30, 1940)
She has come to get her portrait painted by Rivera at the suggestion of George Gershwin and will run right into the intrique surrounding Leon Trotsky and Stanlinist hitmen.
Full scale mural drawing on plaster substrate unveiled.
Rivera had convinced the Board of Education to see the drawing on the ten mural panels for their approval.The scaffolding shown in this picture was removed for the occasion.In this photo Rivera is standing about 30 feet above the floor. The mural is 22 feet high and was intended to be placed 14 feet high, over the stacks, in a City College library Pflueger never got to build due to the advent of WWII. Rivera has basically designed the mural from scratch in 7 weeks, increaing the size by 66%.
In the second episode of LOOK magazine's two part series (first episode July 16, 1940), the story of how Paulette helped Diego Rivera escape is related.
Trotsky attacked in Mexico City by Stalinists
Museo Casa Trotsky Ramon Mercader, Stalinist NKVD agent, who has insinuated himself into the household as the boyfriend of one of the secretaries, attacks Trotsky with a piolet, an ice climbing axe.
Trotsky is dead.
Frida will call Diego in San Francisco and tell him, "mataron el viejo" ("They killed the old man"). She will be interrogated by the police for several days because of her relationship with Trotsky.
"Rivera Mural: Club women don't like it."
This is the lead on an SF Chronicle article tomorrow.
At a meeting today the SF City and County Federation of Women's Clubs voted to ask the Board of Education not to accept the mural. An article on the same page tells of a tea by these same clubs to honor those artists who are part of the "Society for Sanity in Art."
"The Great Dictator" first shown to a private audience on first anniversary of start of WWII.
Chaplin and Goddard are in attendance.
Scenes from Chaplin's first talking movie appear in the mural. It could be that Paulette Goddard gave Rivera some publicity photos. Rivera used photos extensively in his work to get the details exact, especially in the machines he loved.
Early this month Frida will arrive in San Francisco The interrogation in the wake of Trotsky's assassination has weakended her and her doctor and good friend Dr. Eloesser will check her into St. Luke's Hospital.
City College student defends the mural in the "Guardsman"
Leonard B. Gross (1921-1994), editor of the school newspaper writes, "The only part that refers to the dictators is one small corner of the mural where the dictators and swastikas are pictured. THE POINT IS, THE DICTATORS ARE USED MERELY TO ILLUSTRATE THE POWERS OF FORCE, HATE, AND VIOLENCE THAT THEY REPRESENT. This is the only section of the mural where any discrimination against anybody or anything is shown and this is done to associate with dictators."
“Nazis Deny Financing Red Militia in Mexico”
(SF Exam,) They deny statement by Elliott Roosevelt, FDR’s son, that Germany has financed a “Red Militia” of 200,000. “Any danger that confronts this country doesn’t lie all the way across the ocean.” (This had been one of Rivera’s main contentions.)
Rivera is interviewed this day by the SF Chronicle, "Art on Treasure Island."
Frida feeling better thanks to Dr. Eloesser
Frida writes Galka Shayer on St. Luke's Hospital staionary saying she has no tumor or TB, but a kidney infection. She hasn't seen the fresco, but says that Diego feels better here than in Mexico because of its "lousy attitude."
Art in Action costume party
At the party for Art in Action participants: Ansel Adams on left as unknown character, Mona Hofmann as Rivera's "Lady in White," Diego Rivera, and Timothy Pflueger as "Diego Rivera." (SFPL photo Archives)
Paulette Goddard and Irene Bohus are principal guests at cocktail party
Irene Bohus was one of Diego's assistants, Along side Diego she had previously painted a portrait of Goddard in Mexico. Bohus (the brunette) was reputed to be in line to be the next Mrs. Rivera. (Art in Action photo.)
Left to Right:
Edward G. Robinson (Emmanuel Goldman)
Ottorino Donatello Ronchi (1882-1944), Bologna, SF 1914-11/30/44
[Editor Italian SF newspaper, Member Bohemian Club and Art Commission]
Last day of the GGIE.
Rivera will continue to work for two more months in a cold, drafty airplane hanger, which had been the Palace of Fine Arts. The hanger had no heating as part of the requirements for insuring the European art, including Bottocelli's "Venus", exhibited in the first season of the fair.
John Lennon born.
The founding member of the Beatles is born in Liverpool as WWII rages.
She tells Dr. Eloesser that she doesn't want to go to the inauguration tomorrow, nor meet Paulette and the other dames.
Moulin Studios (SF) has a photo shoot of the mural.
Private first showing of mural. (Mural almost complete in this photo)
The Board of Education requests that the mural be crated and delivered to the old Palace of Fine Arts (now the Exploratorium).
Pflueger notifies Rivera et al of their termination. Frida sends a letter to her niece from the Alexander Hamilton Hotel on O'Farrell near Leavenworth.
The public sees the complete mural for the first time.
Public viewing of mural, today and tomorrow, noon to 5 p.m.
SF Examiner calls it a "Silent memorial for the GGIE..." "The occasion was a preview of Diego Rivera's vast, super colossal, and possibly slightly dizzying fresco mural", "open house a great success", "more than 1,000 motorists."
Diego and Frida get a marriage license.
Divorced since 1939, they decide to remarry, encouraged by Dr. Leo Eloesser, Frida's doctor/confidante and eminent Bay area physician.
Diego and Frida remarry in SF City Hall on his birthday
Diego will go out to Treasure Island and work on the mural.