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Orozco, Prometheus - View 2

José Clemente Orozco's Prometheus

Although little known in the United States at the time, Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco would become famous 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 major mural in this country and the first mural in the United States by one of Los Tres Grandes. The Mexican mural movement’s expansion beyond Mexico can be said to have begun at Pomona College. The idea for a mural in Frary Hall was first suggested by its architect, Sumner Spaulding, shortly after the completion of the dining hall. José Pijoán, Pomona College professor of Hispanic civilization and art history, urged his students to take on this challenge and suggested they commission Orozco. Pomona students arranged for Orozco to come to Claremont, where he lived for two months in a campus dormitory while working on the fresco. Prometheus still presides over Frary, and today, over 80 years later, students experience Orozco’s work daily, and visitors see it in its original setting.

José Clemente Orozco papers, 1922-2015

The Pomona College Museum of Art and the Pomona College Archives have compiled all documentation and materials pertaining to José Clemente Orozco and the Prometheus mural. View the finding aid: José Clemente Orozco papers, 1922-2015.