Mural Timeline

January 1940

January 1

Francis Lederer (who appears in the mural in a scene from Confessions of a Nazi Spy) opens in No Time for Comedy at the Curran Theater in San Francisco. (SF Exam) [He gets good reviews in tomorrow’s paper]

January 4

Film The Grapes of Wrath opens.

January 6

Rivera’s second HOY article, Mexico, Battlefield Of The Secret Armies.

January 11

The day after a PCM meeting, Robert McGregor, a member of the U.S. Consular staff, meets with Rivera in his home to discuss five specific subjects. (“The Strange Case…”) [Is this their first meeting?]

January 12

FBI translation of second article, “It is believed that Rivera will either meet with personal harm or will probably be deported from Mexico within the very near future.(FOIA)

January 13

Rivera’s third HOY article, In Mexico, There’s Also A War.

January 14

Columbus sailors start cross-country train ride to Oakland to be housed on Angel Island until they can be repatriated via the Pacific.  [They are “ship-wrecked” on Angel Island due to British blockade of the Pacific. (See Jan. 22)]

Anti-U.S. Plot Bared in Mexico(SF Exam, 1.15.40, p.4) [Reports that Nazi agents have set up headquarters in Mexico City from which to conduct sabotage against the US.  J. Edgar Hoover declined comment.]

January 17

“Posters appeared throughout Mexico advocating the expulsion of Diego Rivera.” [“This is the traitor. Jew faker.”] (FBI files)

“Exposicion internacional del surrealismo” opens at the Galeria de Arte Mexicano in Mexico City. (Art and Revolution, p.99)

[Minervegtanimortvida, one of two Rivera entries in the show, will end up at SFMOMA as Symbolic Landscape or Tree with Glove and KnifePer A&R, p.318, it is an example of surrealism’s “resolution of contraries.” See 12.11.40.  Ironically, Cesar Moro’s preface to the catalog for this show will reject mural painting.]

“Roosevelt Urges World Participation In Fair” (SF Exam, 1.18.40, p.8)

[Calif. house members ask $500,000 appropriation to continue government exhibits and help Pan American countries with exhibits.]

January 18

“Charlie Chaplin, believe it or not, finishes ‘The Dictator’ in two weeks…”  (SF Exam, p.19) [Not!]

January 19

Timothy Pflueger appointed to Exposition’s Art Commission. (SF Exam, 1.20.40, p.11)

January 22

British stop Asama Maru almost back to Tokyo and grab Nazi merchant seaman. (See January 14.)

January 25

Commentary on the overwhelming vote in the House to continue Dies Committee. (SF Chron, p.12)  Committee gets $75,000 but FDR’s Interior Secretary Ickes says Dies should step down. (SF Chron, 1.26.40, p.5)

January 29

“Creel In Mexico As Cardenas Aide: U.S. Fair Commissioner to Advise On Propaganda Methods” (SF Exam, p.13) [PR problems due to German ships taking refuge in Mexican waters and Mexico’s expropriation of oil properties. San Franciscan George Creel is U.S. Commissioner to the GGIE.]

February 1940

February 1

Picasso: Forty Years of His Art opens at the Art Institute of Chicago.  It will run until 3.3.40.  (DaDaBase @ MOMA)

February 3

Rivera’s fourth HOY article, How The Stalinazi Agents Work In Mexico.

February 7

Early (date uncertain) in the month Rivera meets with U.S. Consular staff in regards to a PCM document that had come into their hands.  The State Department is not inclined to believe Rivera ("The Strange Case...")

February 10

HOY cover (Arias Bernal) shows Hitler and Stalin in costume disguised as each other.           

February 14

“Monahan approves one thousand per month not to exceed three months traveling expenses not to exceed one thousand dollars in toto…holding release of story until I get a wire...” (Telegram from Jack James to Pflueger in Mexico.) [A committee headed by Dorothy Wright Liebes gets this money by a subscription of “wealthy donors in San Francisco.”  ELP: July, 1958 Notes.]

Pflueger telegram (handwritten copy) to James stating he can’t go back to Rivera and limit it to three months, “arguing to have him there duration of Exposition….air mailing pictures today.” [One of the pictures with Rivera and Pflueger in the studio appears April 26 in the Portland, Ore. Journal.

A note on Hotel Ritz paper alludes to another photo with R to L: Thom Carr Howe, Jr., DR, TP, Nieves Orozco (model), Irene Bohus (American painter), and Maria Theresa Pinto (Chilean sculptor)]

Pflueger’s notes to himself include: trying to get Clifford Wright or Matthew Barnes as assistants, getting ”as much historical stuff as possible-Morse Fulton”, good lighting for Rivera’s bad eyes, etc.

March 1940

March 2

Robert McGregor, U.S. Consular official, visits Rivera in his home to ascertain his take on the dismissal of Hernan Laborde, Secretary General of the PCM. (“The Strange Case…”)

March 9

HOY cover (Arias Bernal) shows Stalin in the shadows as a puppeteer manipulating Mexican commies (Lombardo Toledano et al) with Rivera looking on.     

March 13

Finland loses war and signs treaty with Russia.

March 14

"If Europe blows up and destroys its cultural heritage, the Americas can turn for inspiration to their own, indigenous art. The art that predates Columbus." 

[L.A. Museum Director Roland J. McKinney as he prepared to unveil a 3 gallery pre-Columbian show, 3.15.40, LA Times]

March 30

G.L. Morley wires Pflueger from Guatemala City, “D R greatly interested reasonable rate.  Details follow air mail.”           

Letter from the Palace Hotel (Guatemala) says Rivera would like to use “young artists as helpers.”

Confused by her lack of a film career and controlled by her new love of Orson [Welles], Dolores moved out of Gibbons’ house and asked for a divorce in March 1940. She and her mother bought a home at 1455 Stone Canyon Drive in the new subdivision Bel Air, filling up with stars and moguls.

April 1940

April 1

America First committee formed.  The group, which advocates isolationism and is against Internationalism, has Charles Lindbergh among its members.

Sometime this month the PCM (Partido Communista Mexicano) at their April meeting pledge to “’take punitive action against the informers’ and to make ‘every effort to get rid of Trotsky.’” (“The Strange Case…”)

Over three days Dr. Morley, director of the San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMA), meets and visits Rivera. (Pflueger files)

[I assume she had to leave quickly for Chile. She is in charge of procuring Central and South American art for the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE).  She is, technically, not in charge of Mexico, which is the purview of Thomas Carr Howe, Jr. [Director of Legion of Honor 1939-1968]. Though the April 1940 issue of the San Francisco Art Association Bulletin says he is down there now, it could have been later in the month and too late to insure that the necessary negotiations could be finished in time. Note: Art In Action is only known as the Active Arts department per the Bulletin and Volz, Carter, Olmstead (sic) are listed as participants with an allusion to a “huge” fresco to be painted.]

April 4

In Santiago, Chile Dr. Morley cables Tim Pflueger, Vice Chairman of the Fine Arts Committee of the GGIE, that Rivera eager to work, “Anxious commitment soon for arranging summer plans.”

April 5

Cable arrives San Francisco 10:05 a.m.

April 6

HOY cover has skeletal soldier with barb wire, bayonet/rifle, and vulture (possible mural imagery)

Between now and the 12th Rivera writes Pflueger starting to discuss theme (if it is to be a Mexican theme, he can do preliminary drawings in Mexico)/ fees/logistics.  He mentions he plans to be in the East in May and New York for a show in November.  [The trip in May was to have been for the Garment Worker’s New York convention. His sometimes testy letter to Jay Lofton on 10.18.40 explains why he missed this commitment. No sense of panic.]

April 13

GGIE will use Paulette Goddard’s measurements for judging the “Miss Streamline” Contest, (SF Chron, p.15)

Pflueger checks into Hotel Ritz, Mexico, D.F. and pays 14 pesos/night through the 18th.  He will sometime later telegram (undated/handwritten) his brother, Milton, requesting blueprints of Fine Arts Palace. (Pflueger files)

He also sends telegram to Jack James, Director of Promotion and Publicity for the GGIE, laying out outline of deal and specifying “at least three months.”  In his preparatory notes to writing the telegram text, Pflueger reminds himself not to mention Rivera’s name in wire because as he says in the telegram, the “danger of leak great.”  He’s going to have six views of “signing” of contract photographed.

April 14

“Monahan approves one thousand per month not to exceed three months traveling expenses not to exceed one thousand dollars in toto…holding release of story until I get a wire...” (Telegram from Jack James to Pflueger in Mexico.) [A committee headed by Dorothy Wright Liebes gets this money by a subscription of “wealthy donors in San Francisco.”  ELP: July, 1958 Notes.]                             

Pflueger telegram (handwritten copy) to James stating he can’t go back to Rivera and limit it to three months, “arguing to have him there duration of Exposition….air mailing pictures today.” [One of the pictures with Rivera and Pflueger in the studio appears April 26 in the Portland, Ore. Journal.

A note on Hotel Ritz paper alludes to another photo with R to L: Thom Carr Howe, Jr., DR, TP, Nieves Orozco (model), Irene Bohus (American painter), and Maria Theresa Pinto (Chilean sculptress)]

Pflueger’s notes to himself include: trying to get Clifford Wright or Matthew Barnes as assistants, getting ”as much historical stuff as possible-Morse Fulton”, good lighting for Rivera’s bad eyes, etc.

April 15


Handwritten/typewritten letter from Diego to Pflueger accepting invitation and proposing the theme of the “fusion” of the north and south. Also, signed handwritten contract in Pflueger’s hand, both on Ritz Hotel (Mex.D.F.) stationary. 

Telegram to Pflueger from Jack James, Director of Publicity and Promotion of GGIE giving Monahan’s OK on “duration  of Fair for artist” and limiting travel to $1000.[No sense of panic.]

Diego Rivera fills out American Consular Services “Declaration in Connection With Paintings, Etc., And Sculptures” for an oil painting Tiger in the Jungle attesting to its authenticity and originality because the artist is in an “insane asilum” (sic). [Is Pflueger taking the painting back to the US? The painting is not in the SFMOMA collection per Josh] (Pflueger files)

Sometime after this date, Rivera’s article, “Stalin, Undertaker of the Revolution,” appears in May issue of Esquire Magazine. [Not cited in Readers Guide to Per. Lit.] [Trotsky had called Stalin “gravedigger of the revolution” to his face at a 1926 Politburo meeting….probably a bad move, Stalin as Revolutionary, Tucker, p.446]

April 19

Pflueger checks out of Hotel Ritz.

April 23

Pflueger letter pitches mural sponsorship to the Board of Education (BOE). Their sponsorship incurs no cost other than the storage of the mural until the new library is ready.  (Pflueger files)

“Diego Rivera Signs With Exposition: Famed Muralist from Mexico to Work in Fine Arts Palace” (SF Exam)

April 25

Dr. Morley to Mexico City on way to San Francisco (See cable in Pflueger files.)

Pflueger letter to William Monahan, General Manager of the GGIE, sending copies of the agreement between Rivera and Pflueger on behalf of the GGIE.  He requests that Monahan send an official confirmation for Rivera’s use to get out of Mexico.  This should leave on the Pan Am 3:30 a.m. LA to Mexico plane on 4.27.40.  Also, include the first $1000. (Pflueger file) Board of Education resolution No. F-1372 agrees to act as sponsor with the caveat that the Art Commission must approve the preliminary drawing. (Pflueger files)                              

The 19th International Exhibition of Watercolors show opens at the Art Institute of Chicago (till May 26). Rivera’s four watercolors will be on loan from Edward G. Robinson. (Catalog @ Docs/Diego Rivera/Chronology docs)

April 26

T. Pflueger sends letter to Rivera telling him all is going well.  However, Clifford Wight is in London and unavailable, as is Barnes (who will become available), but Stackpole says a few good men available.  Engineers are working on a “daylight” bulb and have arranged for 14’x24’ studio built behind mural. [This letter is alluded to in early May letter D.R. to T.P.]  (Pflueger files)

April 30

Pflueger letter to Rivera in which the idea of modifying the plans for the library to showcase the mural is laid out (includes drawing, now missing). The mural will be installed in the ground floor main reading room, not one floor up, and visible from afar (includes now missing aerial view to show sight lines).  To accommodate the new proportions of the room, the fresco will be slightly altered to 22 feet high; the new 14’9” square upper panel size will come in under the 15’ limit for transporting over the Bay Bridge (making the lower panels 7’3” high).  Pflueger errs in saying the width of the mural will be 43’3”, instead of 44’3” and says the area of 951.5 sq.ft. (Actually 973.5 sq.ft.) is less than the 1200 sq.ft laid out by Rivera. Pflueger suggests half width panels added to each side would bring the total up to 1276 sq.ft. (Actually 1298 sq.ft.) Very importantly Pflueger states that he feels the work can eventually cover “the entire reading room.”  (Pflueger files)

[Sometime between now and early June six panels will be constructed by Soule Steel, lath/plastered by Hermann Bosch and delivered to the Fine Arts Building by Thomas Drayage. By mid-June Pflueger will be ordering four more panels, where these parties are cited. Currently, there is no documentation on the first order.]

May 1940

May 1

Sometime early this month, Rivera says to Pflueger that he needs to leave Mexico City “as soon as possible” and needs the $1000 travel expense money. Rivera encloses a letter (from SF artists telling him to stay away per ELP) he calls a “provocation” and wants to know Pflueger’s opinion. (Rivera refers to Pflueger's Apr. 26 letter)

May 5

Count Jean de Strelecki (Mona’s step-father) unveils his “Chief White Eagle” sculpture on Mt. Strella in Agoura, California. (Above the intersection of Lewis and Agoura Roads.) [Part of The Great Dictator is filmed nearby at Lake Vista and Laguna Circle Drives, Agoura Hills.]

May 6

“Check mailed April 27….Pay no attention artist letter   people who count enthusiastic about your coming. Please reply wire collect my letter April 30 regarding panel sizes.” (Pflueger to Rivera telegram)

May 7

“Didn’t receive check” “Agree with 1276 Square Feet” (Rivera to Pflueger telegram) [This is adding 2 half panels]

“Money will be sent to Misrachi by telegram today.”  Pflueger gives Rivera suggestions for an overland route to SF. (P to R)

May 8

“Paulette: Father Sues for Support,” (SF Chron, 5.9.40) [as of this date she’s resting at Arrowhead Springs]

 J.A. Ormond, Secretary of the BOE letter to WPA with a Request for Allocation No. 226.  [Is this the allocation to cover Rivera’s other workers?  Niendorff and Packard will be paid by Fair.  See 11.22.40 for their termination notice.]

May 10

Winston Churchill replaces Chamberlain as Prime Minister of Britain.

Germany invades France and the Lowlands.

May 15

Sometime close to mid-month, movie star Paulette Goddard, Charlie Chaplin's wife, goes to Mexico on PanAm Airlines with her mother and a LOOK magazine photographer, Earl Theisen, to stay at the Hotel La Reforma.  Though this is a publicity junket, Paulette is trying to, hopefully, get her portrait painted by Diego Rivera. This idea had been planted in her head by George Gershwin in 1937, when he met her at a party that Edward G. Robinson threw for composer Igor Stravinsky. Gershwin had fallen for her immediately, as did many others upon meeting her (ask Diego). She has finished her work on Chaplin's The Great Dictator in which she co-stars.[The Trotsky assassination attempt episode will happen in the second week of her stay per the second of the articles in LOOK.]

May 18

HOY article, El Viaje de Diego Rivera, says he will go to SF to paint a mural about Panamericanism, not to prepare the Almazan revolution, not to testify to Dies, not to buy munitions!

May 20

 Rivera delivers The Hands of Dr. Moore to Dr. Clarence Moore at the Hotel La Reforma and is paid $650.00 (Paulette Goddard is staying at this hotel.)

May 24

20 men disguised as policemen, including Siqueiros, try to kill Trotsky firing into his bedroom with Thompson submachine guns. 

Holland and Belgium surrender to Nazis.

May 25

GGIE's second season opens.

May 26

Rivera had been denounced in Mexican press by Union of Workers in the Sugar Industry who accuse him of joining the Martin Dies Comm. (Comm. On Un-American Activities.)  “To provoke disturbance in Mexico.” (S.F. Chron, “Around the Art Galleries,” 5/26/40)   [No record of Rivera testifying to Dies Committee per their Minutes; he refused because they would not let him testify in Washington, DC, only in Austin, TX.  He did testify to U.S. Consular Official McGregor in Mexico.]                              

“Diego Rivera….suggested today that the United States offer a haven to Leon Trotsky.” (Mexico City newspaper quoted in FBI files on 5.30.40)

Dunkirk evacuation of British troops starts.

May 27

“One night, several days later, a platoon of policemen…cordoned off my studio in San Angel” and Paulette Goddard helped "rescue" him. (Autobio, p. 139.) Goddard had moved to the San Angel Inn, across the street from Rivera's studio, most likely to facilitate sitting for her portrait.

He will procure an amparo (habeas corpus) to protect himself from arrest or questioning. (FBI file) [He’s in hiding from approximately May 27 – June 4, i.e. 7-8 days.]

[See Goddard's versions of the "rescue": Paulette, Opposite Attraction; Modern Screen magazine (10.41), & Look magazine (7.16.40 & 7.23.40 issues.)]

May 29

Date on Rivera protest delivered “mysteriously” to La Prensa.

In Mexico City, Rivera called U.S. Consulate to obtain a border-crossing card to enter U.S.  He met with U.S. Consular Official McGregor at his lawyer, Erby Swift’s, house.  Swift and Rivera decide to get permit to leave Mexico from Rivera’s friend, the governor of Tamaulipas from where he could fly to Brownsville, (“The Strange Case…”) [Cuidad Victoria, the Tamaulipas state capital, is 300 miles from Mexico City and 200 miles from Brownsville.]

Diego’s chauffer was arrested today at the Casa Estudio in San Angel when police with a warrant searched the house. (Chronology docs)

Alden Clark, Executive Secretary of the United American Artists, Local 88, claims “alleged discrimination” because “some artists are to receive remuneration…while others…without recompense.” in a letter to Pflueger. (Pflueger files)

May 30

“I am delayed in leaving for the Golden Gate Exposition and extreme annoyed by the fact.”  Rivera’s airmail letter to Pflueger requests immediate notice to the American Consul in Mexico of the situation and contractual commitment.  He also says to write him at his attorney: Mr. David Olvera, Ave. Juarez 83, Mexico, D.F. 

U.S. Consulate issues Rivera a “border i.d. card” and inform the State Department the next day, but wait until the last minute to tell the FBI Special Agent in Charge in Mexico City, perhaps to repay Rivera.  (“The Strange..”p.10)

“Rivera, from his hiding place in the city, has today published a blistering attack on the police and the government generally.” (FBI files)

“Arrest Resisted by Diego Rivera." (LA Times, 5.30.40)

June 1940

June 1

Pflueger sends a letter to the Hon. James B. Stewart, US Consul General in Mexico requesting help getting Rivera out. (Pflueger files) [But George P. Shaw is the American Consul]

Leah Brenner, Rivera’s secretary, receives a threatening note “to the effect that Mexico was damned dangerous for Trotskists, Riveristas, Almazanistas and yankee capitalists.  A wird to the wise is suficint. Signed XX “ (“The Strange Case…”)

Rivera’s amparo expires at 11:00 a.m. (FBI files) [see May 27]

Reception at Treasure Island’s Fine Arts Bldg for Pflueger.

June 3

Rivera says he was cleared. Paulette Goddard turns 29. 

He applies to the Secretario de Governacion (sic)…for a tourist permit.  (FBI files)

Paris hit by 1,100 bombs from 200 Reich planes.

June 4

Diego Rivera flies from Mexico City (wireless to NY Times)

Arrives at Brownsville Pan-American airport at 10:35 a.m.           

Taken into immigration office [Immigration and Naturalization Service per FBI] and questioned by three local immigration inspectors per D.W. Brewster, inspector in charge. Admitted under bond for one year. (Brownsville Herald, 6.5.40.)

“Rivera arrived by plane…after passing before a board…$500…’I suppose’, he told me, ‘that this was to guarantee that I wouldn’t overthrow the government of the United States’…..hasty sale of some watercolors to perhaps Paulette Goddard,” (ELP, notes, 7.58 Implies P.G. was with him & paid for bond.  See ELP letter of early 1941: 1st draft says “actress friend” bought paintings.)

Arrives in San Antonio on the Braniff 8:25 p.m. flight. [Later than expected due to extra delay in Brownsville.] (FBI files)

Left San Antonio for Dallas tonight on Braniff Airlines with Paulette Goddard (who motored from Monterey, per newspaper account. “June 4: Paulette left Mexico City today with her mother and is driving back to Hollywood…,” (Harriet Parsons in SF Exam, 6.5.40) Is this a cover story? Where’s her Mom? What’s ETD Dallas?

Geo. P Shaw, American Consul in Mexico City wires Pflueger and sends air mail confirmation that Rivera left this morning. (Pflueger files)

“Diego Rivera will paint at Exposition,” (6.4.40 U.P. San Antonio) (Chron. 6.5.40)

British complete Dunkirk evacuation of 340,000 troops.

June 5

Chaplin re-writes “Final Speech” of Dictator in light of the Nazi invasion of France and imminent fall of Paris.


Rivera arrives in Burbank’s Union Air terminal with Paulette. She departs for home and he talks to reporters during one-hour layover. (N.Y. Times, 6.6.40)

[Photo of Rivera and Goddard leaving American Airlines plane in Burbank (Call Bulletin article/picture) & photo dated 6.6.40 of Rivera alone. (SFPL Photo Archives)  Another photo of Rivera & Goddard at airport café implies she didn’t leave immediately.

Rivera wires Pflueger at 2:57 p.m. from Burbank that he’s arriving at 5:00 p.m. (Pflueger files)

Arrives on United Airlines tonight at SF’s Mills Field.  He says attempt made on his life three days after attempt on Trotsky by Stalinist and Nazi agitators.” (N.Y. Times, 6.6.40) Photo of Rivera and stewardess Joan Denton. (United Airlines photo in SFPL Photo)

Rivera is picked up by Pflueger and Albert Bender.  Taken to the Fairmont Hotel where he has the unpleasant “tie episode.” (Autobio, p. 144)

“Rivera starts mural” (Chron, 6.5.40)

“All’s quiet on the Rivera, Paulette Goddard saved his life, he says” (Chron, 6.6.40)

[Ironically, her last husband-to-be Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front, will see Rivera & PG June 10.]

He had been safely hidden in the home of his American lawyer (Erby Swift) in Mexico. Rivera says Lombardo Toledano is responsible for Trotsky attempt. [Cited as ally of the Muralists when Toledano was Director of Prep. School in 1922 per Autobio, p.78]

June 6

“Mr. Rivera will start work on his Mural today” (NY Times, 6.6.40) 

“Rivera Tells of Mexico’s 5th Columns” (SF Exam)

Memo to Pflueger from Heinz Berggruen saying that Life magazine has wired staff photographer Peter Stackpole in LA to shoot full Art in Action photos with emphasis on Rivera. He’ll come up this weekend, start on Monday through Tuesday or Wednesday. [This may be delayed. Peter may come up in late June/July because of stage of Rivera’s works shown in photos. At this time Peter may shoot photos of his father Ralph, which appear in the October 21, 1940 issue of Life magazine.] George Creel would interview Rivera on KPO on the next regular Wednesday program. “Arrangements being made for news reels to be taken.” [No record of interview.]

Editorial “1,000 a Day: Ford’s Plan for War Planes” (SF Exam)

[Ford decries red tape that prevents him from meeting goals.  He says he needs men like Lindbergh, not government theorists.]

“Latino Fear Nazi’s Grip”, “S.F. Fair tops year ago record 12th day = 613,188 vs. 610,765 (L.A. Times, 6.6.40, p.14), also, [Lindbergh and Ford decry “that element” that’s trying to get us into the war, referring to Jews.]

June 7

Pflueger’s Federal Building opening ceremony at GGIE.

“Mexico Plans Congress Call” (To Curb Movement of Aliens), (L.A. Times, Part 1, p.8.)

“General says Mexico with U.S.” [Gen. Melquiades Angulo, Minister of Communications and Public Works in San Antonio], (L.A. Times Part 1, p.8.)

“Paulette Goddard wins lead opposite Boyer”, L.A. Times [Hold Back the Dawn – 1941 *** ½ per Movies on TV/Videocass.  Rather exceptional romantic melodrama with a seedy Boyer desperately trying to marry a vulnerable American (Olivia De Havilland) in order to enter U.S. from Mexico.]

Confessions of a Nazi Spy re-released at Warners”, (L.A. Times.) [With added footage of Nazi actions. Rivera will reference this movie in the mural.]

Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford say mysterious force trying to force U.S. into War. (L.A. Times)

June 8

“Antes de partir de México, Diego Rivera dió palabra de casamiento a su bella modelo, Nieves Orozco”. [Fotografia de Nieves Orozco junto a un cuadro de Rivera. Excelsior, primera sección p. 13 ] (INBA files at Centro Nacional de las Artes)   Note: Nieves will later relate to us that the arrival of Paulette Goddard erased this option.

Edison, the Man is showing at the St. Francis Theater!

Abe Lincoln in Illinois with Raymond Massey opens at the Clay!

June 9

“For the weekend of this first week in San Francisco, I was invited to L.A., to the home of Charlie Chaplin. My hostess was my old friend, then Chaplin’s wife, Paulette Goddard.  I was elated not only to see Paulette again...” (Autobio, p.146) [Hadn’t seen her for four days, after only knowing her a few weeks. Charlie is very busy with Dictator. It is probably at this time that Paulette will give Diego publicity stills from The Great Dictator, which will become the basis for the movie imagery in the mural.]

[Among invitees to Paulette’s tea are: Dolores del Rio, Orson Wells, Anita Loos, the King Vidors, and the Lewis Milestones –he directed All Quiet On The Western Front] (Per Harriet Parsons, SF Exam, 6.8.40)  [Is Irene Rich invited? Rivera will visit with the radio star in Santa Barbara, CA. in Januray 1941 on his way back to Mexico, but how they met is a question.]

Goddard says Chaplin didn’t like her friends and Rivera had to go stay at Dolores Del Rio’s house, (“Opposite Attraction”, p.273)

[“Confused by her lack of a film career and controlled by her new love of Orson [Welles], Dolores moved out of Gibbons’ house and asked for a divorce in March 1940. She and her mother bought a home at 1455 Stone Canyon Drive in the new subdivision Bel Air, filling up with stars and moguls.”]

All This and Heaven, Too to premier at Carthy Circle next Thursday.  The play stars Bette Davis and Charles Boyer.  (Edward G. Robinson, Paulette Goddard, Charlie Chaplin, Dolores Del Rio to attend.)

El Greco’s “Saint Peter” shown at GGIE.  Lee Hersch litho/oils art show reviewed, with Rivera cited as calling him “a good painter,” (L.A. Times)

June 10

Norway falls.

Dolores Del Rio throws party for Diego at the Beachcombers. [Don the Beachcomber].

Later Edward G. Robinson hosts some guests (PG, CC, Marlene Dietrich, E.M. Remarque and Orson Welles) at his house to see his Rivera paintings. (L.A. Times, 6.16.40, p. D6)

Rivera’s sends note to assistant Mona Hofmann to pick him up at 10 p.m. from Chaplin’s; implies his assistants are in LA. [Did they drive him down there? Assistant Arthur Niendorff has an L.A. address.] (ELP files)

June 11

Rivera leaves this Tuesday morning for SF (per above L.A. Times article).

June 12

Rivera sends note to Dolores Del Rio from SF on Hotel California stationary. (Correspondencia Diego Rivera)

“We were still living in a hotel-Diego, Bettina and I-on separate floors-still compiling the materials and instruments to start that enormous project.” [Mona Hofmann notes (transcription of red pages)]                               

Note:First concrete evidence that Bettina Whitman (Ely de Vescovi) worked on the project, although we knew that her butanol/water concoction to delay the drying of the fresco plaster was used.]

Later moves into small Telegraph Hill apartment (Autobio, p. 145)

38 Calhoun per 10.18.40 letter to Jay Lofton in ELP files.

42 Calhoun Terrace per marriage license December 5.

49 Calhoun per Frida: A Bio., p.296.

66 Calhoun is Richard Neutra’s "Sidney Kahn" house.

[No record of KPO radio interview and news reels.  See 6.6.40 memo Berggruen to Pflueger.]

June 14

Nazis march into Paris.                                

All Quiet on the Western Front is shown at the GGIE (Treasure Island 1939-1940). [Rivera had just seen Remarque on Monday and the movie may be source of WWI imagery, though gas suit drawing is from never painted/canceled 1934 GM mural.] 

The first 3-panel-wide drawing includes Dudley Carter. Therefore it was drawn soon after Rivera arrived on June 5.

Pflueger and Rivera have decided to augment the size of the mural in the past few days.

Pflueger verbal order to Soule Steel for four additional steel framed panels.

Pflueger letter to Hermann Bosch instructing him to lath/plaster four additional panels.

Pflueger letter to G.W. Thomas Drayage and Rigg Co., Inc. accepting their proposal for erecting (4) steel panels, increasing width of mural by 14’9” on each end.

Pflueger letter to Monahan confirming their conversation and saying he has ordered what is needed to expand the mural.

United Rubber Workers of America Local #60 passes Resolution protesting the slight to SF artists by paying “an highly publicized artist.” Chemical Workers Local 266 does as well. (Pflueger files)

Pflueger letter to George P. Shaw, American Consul in Mexico thanking him for his notification on June 4th that Rivera had left Mexico.

[Date on photo of Rivera with beautiful Indian model, Nieves Orozco, “who will accompany him to T.I.” Was photo used this date? Also, undated version of this photo labeled “GGIE” on the reverse. Photo was taken in Mexico when Pflueger was there. (SFPL Photo Archives)] She is the topless attendant in Paulette’s portrait. “Nieves” is also a model for Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Miguel Covarrubias.