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Cover thumbnail for Prometheus Mural and Preparatory Drawings Prometheus Mural and Preparatory Drawings

The idea for a mural in Frary Hall was first suggested by its architect, Sumner Spalding, shortly after the completion of the building. The Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco was selected at the urging of José Pijoan, a popular professor of Hispanic civilization and art history at the College. Although little known in this country at the time, Orozco would later be hailed as one of "los tres grandes"--the three great Mexican muralists: Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Prometheus, painted in 1930, was Orozco's first work in this country and the first Mexican mural in North America. The Mexican Mural Movement can, thus, be said to have begun here, at Pomona College. When Orozco arrived at the Claremont depot in March, 1930, he was met by an enthusiastic delegation of Pomona students, who were to play an important role in the project. Although the faculty of the time were divided about the merits of the commission, the students rallied to the artist's support, helping to raise funds for his fee. Watching the painting progress from day to day, many came to know Orozco personally, and alumni of the period recall with pride their personal involvement in the project.

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Title Artist Medium & Support Creation Date
Study for central panel, Prometheus mural   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Graphite on paper  1930 
Study of arm reaching left and detail of hand, Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study of torso from back, preparatory drawing for Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study of head and torso from back, preparatory drawing for Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study of raised left arm with outline of head, Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study of back of torso with left arm raised over head, preparatory drawing for Prometheus mural   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study of leaning figure, preparatory drawing for Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study for figure with raised left arm, preparatory drawing for Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Contour study of torso and left arm, Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study for ceiling panel (Abstract Composition or Godhead)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Graphite on paper  1930 
Study for west panel (Zeus, Hera, and Io, or, The Destruction of Mythology), Prometheus mural   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Graphite on paper  1930 
Study for east panel (Centaurs in Agony or The Strangulation of Mythology), Prometheus mural   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Graphite on paper  1930 
Study of centaur and baby for east panel (Centaurs in Agony or The Strangulation of Mythology), Prometheus mural   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Graphite on paper  1930 
Study of two raised arms, preparatory drawing for Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study of raised right forearm and fist, preparatory drawing for Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study of left forearm and fist, preparatory drawing for Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Study of right forearm and detail, Prometheus mural (central panel)   Orozco, Jose Clemente   Charcoal on paper  1930 
Prometheus   Orozco, Jose Clemente   fresco mural  1930 

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