Viewing the preparatory and related works for Rico Lebrun's Genesis mural at Pomona College offers an opportunity to witness an artist's creative process. They include rough sketches that reflect Lebrun's first ideas for the wall, drawings and collages that relate to the finished composition, and others that indicate alternative forms, designs, and iconography the artist contemplated. Taken together, the works demonstrate the development of an artist's vision and the creation of the highly complex philosophical and aesthetic statement that is Genesis.
Rico Lebrun's first visited Pomona College in November, 1956. Captivated by José Clemente Orozco's great Prometheus fresco in Frary Hall, he expressed interest in working on campus and, through the efforts of Pomona art historian Peter Selz, was ultimately commissioned to paint a mural at the entrance to Frary Hall. Selz later persuaded Los Angeles art patrons Donald and Elizabeth Winston to sponsor the work as a gift to the College.
The preparatory work for Genesis was undertaken in Rome, where Lebrun was a resident at the American Academy; work in Claremont began in July, 1960. Lebrun and his assistants first created a collage of the preparatory drawings, taping them to the wall, then rearranging and redrawing, enlarging and reducing the many figures; later, charcoal tracings were made and the figures painted.