Stealing Fire: José Clemente Orozco's Prometheus at 80
Prometheus, José Clemente Orozco's mural in Frary Dining Hall, is an integral part of every student's life on campus, yet today, 80 years after it was completed, few students know its history. This exhibition seeks to reintroduce Prometheus to a new generation of students. It presents a history that has been forgotten, the intentions behind its design, its integration into student life, and efforts to preserve this brilliant work of art. Prometheus stands for the continuing sacrifice required to gain knowledge and to share it, as it inspires every individual that gazes at its splendor.
For his first mural in the United States, Orozco chose the Greek myth of Prometheus as particularly suited for Pomona College. The god's action of bringing fire and light to humanity is presented as a symbol of educational enlightenment. The colossal figure of Prometheus stretches across the space, surrounded by human figures reacting with fear and awe as they acknowledge his gift and sacrifice.
This year is the 80th birthday of Prometheus and the centenary of the start of the Mexican Revolution. As we celebrate the birthday of this work of art, we acknowledge its place in a larger history of art and its connection to the history of Mexico, as well as its history at Pomona College. The exhibition is designed to introduce Prometheus through the artist's preparatory drawings and to answer questions about how and why it came to be painted in Frary Hall. Over the course of the exhibition, student responses past and present will be inserted in the exhibition.
Paulette Barros '11 Kilsby Intern
theory friction practice '12 Kilsby Intern