Letter from Rivera to Pflueger (undated)

Undated letter from Rivera to Pflueger | Letter from Rivera to Pflueger (April 15, 1940) | Agreement on April 15, 1940 | Undated letter from Rivera to Pflueger (2)

Palmas y Altavista
Villa Obregon
Mexico, D.F.

Mr. Timothy L. Pflueger
Architect
San Francisco, California

My dear Tim,

I received your wire and met the charming Doctor Grace Morley. She gave me your message for which I am very grateful to you as I find the proposition exceedingly interesting and am anxiously awaiting its realization.

As I told her, I want to know what year the job is in your budget. We can always come to an agreement, I am sure. The only question is: in ten years, I will be older, meaning grown daughters, a house, more taxes, and all the bothersome things and expenses which is probably why the dealers have raised the prices of my paintings and why I need more money for the same things I did ten years ago, for much less. I suppose then, Timothy, that all of us are more or less in the same degree of evolution, and you will understand. Of course, it can not be objectionable to be so anxiously awaiting the realization of the mural. You know how pleasant it will be for me to do something for my San Francisco friends and the City.

I also want to know about the possibilities of subject matter, dimensions of figures, and everything an architect, such as Tim, could tell me about the job. I would like to know if you want a Mexican or an American subject or a subject with an abstract character. It might interest the public of the World's Fair to see a Mexican painter at work on the "Mexican Mural." If so, please tell me now so that I may do the necessary sketches from life, etc. here.

I have been intending to give an exhibition of my paintings in New York, this November. The new matter might prevent the exhibition, and you will understand that the consequences will have to be arranged. Please take this into account as much as you can because it might signify a very heavy economic loss for me. If I could also begin in June, it would be marvelous for me because I must be in the East, in May, and I want to be through with the matter before I go on to San Francisco.

I don't know what your plans are for conditions of the jobs and the other painters' opinions. As for me, I would prefer to be furnished materials, plaster men, and an assistant, all that I need, and let the enterprise pay the wages and expenses of such people. I am sure that you have many good people in whom you have confidence, right in San Francisco. Then, you will only have to take my own work into consideration.

Possibly, it might be much easier and convenient for both parties if, in the beginning, the preparation of the wall were left entirely up to you as we did in the Stock Exchange and the Fine Arts School during the beautiful days of our week-ends in the countryside of the Family Club. Alas that such days can not come again this summer. Physicians, eyes, liver, glands, all kinds of terrible things have stopped the good eats, marvelous drinks of which you gave me plenty ten years ago.

This doesn't mean that I have fallen in a bad humor. No, sir! Without drinks, I am having as much fun as always. Don't think I'm bad because of this explanation. After all, one has to have something in life, don't you think? But, I can not even be a good tea or party artist anymore because, not having wonderful little Frida with me, I can not put anymore tuxedos on since I don't know how to arrange the ties. Then, I am finished with teas, parties, lectures, and am just a real, serious old man, thinking about the job to be done. Do you like this better or are you still enjoying stormy week-ends? Please let me hear about all this, including the serious questions in the letter, if possible, by return air mail.

Warmest greetings!
Diego Rivera