Diego Rivera: From Mexico to Manhattan: Rivera at Rockefeller Center
Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 6:00 p.m.
Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater), mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
Organized in conjunction with the exhibition Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art, this three-part lectures series addresses the culture and politics of early-20th-century Mexico, the influence of the Mexican Revolution on Rivera, and the controversial mural Rivera was commissioned to create for Rockefeller Center.
Rivera at Rockefeller Center
Daniel Okrent, author of Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center (2003), explores one of the most notorious instances of art destruction in 20th-century America—the commission of a mural by Rivera for Rockefeller Center and its eventual removal.
Daniel Okrent's 40-year career has encompassed nearly every form of mass media. In book publishing, he was an editor at Knopf, Viking, and Harcourt. In magazines, he founded the award-winning New England Monthly and was chief editor of the monthly Life. In newspapers, he was the first public editor of The New York Times. On television, he has appeared as an expert commentator on many network shows, and he talked more than any other talking head in Ken Burns's Baseball. On film, he was featured in the documentaries Wordplay and Silly Little Game, appeared in a speaking role in Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown, and had what he calls "a mumbling role" in Lasse Hallstrom's The Hoax. Online, he headed Time Inc.'s internet efforts in the late 1990s, and has recently given in to the dubious charms of Facebook. But all that, he says, was preparation for what he most wanted to do: write books. His work, beginning with Nine Innings in 1985 and proceeding through the 2010 publication of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, prompted novelist Kevin Baker to write in Publishers Weekly that Okrent is "one of our most interesting and eclectic writers of nonfiction over the past 25 years." Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition was named the 2011 best book on American history by the American Historical Association. His book Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center, from which he will draw for his MoMA lecture, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2004.
In conjunction with the exhibition Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art
Tickets ($10, $8 members and corporate members, $5 students, seniors and staff of other museums) are available online, at the information desk in the main lobby, at the Education and Research Building ticketing desk, and at the film desk after 4:00 p.m. Any remaining tickets may be picked up one hour before the start of the program at the Education and Research Building ticketing desk.