Art & Design|Diego Rivera Mural to Get Landmark Status, Blocking Potential Sale

Officials unanimously voted to guard the $50 million art work after the San Francisco Art Institute threatened to promote it to cowl money owed.

“The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City” by Diego Rivera at the San Francisco Art Institute.“The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City” by Diego Rivera at the San Francisco Art Institute.Credit…Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; by way of San Francisco Art Institute

  • Jan. 12, 2021Updated 7:41 p.m. ET

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 11-0 to begin the method to designate a beloved Diego Rivera mural as a landmark after the San Francisco Art Institute, which owns the $50 million portray, mentioned that promoting it might assist repay $19.7 million of debt.

Designating the mural as a landmark would severely restrict how the 150-year-old establishment might leverage it, and public officers behind the measure say that promoting it’s more likely to be off the desk for now. Removing the mural with landmark standing would require approval from town’s Historic Preservation Commission, which has broad authority.

“There’s a lot of money in this town,” mentioned Andrew Peskin, a board member from the district the place the institute resides and a sponsor of the proposal. “There are better ways to get out of their mess than a harebrained scheme of selling the mural.”

During a public listening to on the decision on Monday, officers of the Art Institute objected to the concept. Pam Rorke Levy, chairwoman of the Art Institute board, mentioned, “Landmarking the mural now, when there is no imminent threat of it being sold, without sufficient consideration of S.F.A.I.’s position would deprive S.F.A.I. of its primary and most valuable asset.”

The 1931 work, titled “The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City,

 » Read Full Story