Very early on, proponents of modernism were demagogued as radicals, anarchists, and communists. This strategy proved spectacularly effective for opponents of modernist designs for public murals, such as Diego Rivera’s infamous Man at the Crossroads. Rivera included an image of Vladimir Lenin that outraged the press and led to the mural’s destruction by angry workmen. Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture
Actually the so called angry workmen were nothing of the sort, they were hired hands of Rockefeller who commissioned the mural by Diego Rivera for the Rockefeller Center. Controversy erupted over the mural and the managers of the Rockefeller Center demanded the removal of Lenin.
"Seeking a compromise, Rockefeller suggested that Rivera should replace Lenin with some unknown face; the artist offered to add Lincoln but refused to expunge Lenin. Charged with willful propagandizing, he declared only that "All art is propaganda." Since he had accepted his payment, Rivera was unable to force the Rockefellers to exhibit or even keep his work. The mural was subsequently removed from the wall..." The Encyclopedia of Censorship, J. Green, Facts on File, pg. 254
|Diego Rivera & André Breton|
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