3San Francisco before coming to Detroit in 1932 at the height of the GreatDepression.
At the Detroit Institute of Arts, the communist Rivera wascommissioned by the Arts Commission, a board of wealthy capitalists, to painttwo walls of the Great Court.
One of the board members was Edsel Ford,president of the Ford Motor Company.
It was the Edsel B. Ford Fund thatfinanced $10,000 for Rivera’s commission.
This was later increased to over$20,000.
Before Rivera’s arrival, the Ford Motor Company witnessed great unrestand anger from its many previously employed workers who were desperately trying to survive in this difficult time. On March 7, 1932, approximately 5,000laid off workers staged the Ford Hunger March, which terminated outsideFord’s Rouge River Complex. The former workers’ rage and frustration during this march could not be contained and ended with violence; five people died.
Edsel Ford and his father Henry Ford hoped that a mural glorifying theirautomobile industry would reduce further unrest from Detroit’s working class.
Soon after Rivera and Kahlo arrived in Detroit, Kahlo discovered she was two months pregnant. While Kahlo was unsure whether or not to have thechild, Rivera was adamant that he did not want any more children. He already had two children from a previous marriage and did not want any children fromthis one.
Kahlo knew that anything other than work was very low on the listof Rivera’s priorities. This may have been part of the reason why a few yearsearlier in her marriage Kahlo had had an abortion.
Once again pregnant,Kahlo went through much emotional turmoil, eventually deciding for a second