ARTFUL LEGACY

In an exclusive interview, the daughter of artist Diego Rivera, Dr. Guadalupe Rivera Marín shares with our culture maven Molly Bayme why she enhances social “good” In Mexico that fortifies her family’s illustrious legacy.           

“Being the daughter of Diego Rivera is a great source of pride for me, because I consider him to be a pioneer of a important current of world art, my children and grandchildren also value him,” shares Dr. Guadalupe Rivera Marín about her famous father. “We are all proud descendants of a man considered to be one of the first great muralists of modern times.”

Any art follower knows that Diego Rivera is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Today his legacy lives on with his daughter, Dr. Guadalupe Rivera Marín, a youthful 87, who was born into the very influential family that has made an integral impression on Mexican culture that continues to contribute to the Mexican culture’s character. Marín’s family reputation in the art world was an exalted one so she was eager to create her own life pathway in this world. Marín explained to us that she wanted to “have my own life. I made this decision at the age of 14 when I decided to dedicate myself to social causes.”

So she enrolled in the National School of Jurisprudence at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1942 to study law and became a lawyer in 1947. There is absolutely no doubt that Dr. Rivera Marín is passionate about social conditions in Mexico and she has proven that in her career by using her knowledge from law school to further illustrate this immeasurable zeal in fighting for social causes when she started her job at the National Financier in 1949.

When working in this challenging position, Dr. Rivera Marín recalls, “Working in public service, I had the opportunity to contribute with the neediest communities in the creation of new hospitals, schools, health centers and improved public spaces such as parks and plazas.”

As her enthusiasm for social causes became more and more apparent within Mexico, it took no time before she was encouraged to participate in politics. On two separate occasions she was voted to embody the Federal District of Mexico City in Congress throughout the years of 1961 and 1973. She then accepted the position of Mexico’s Ambassador for the Food And Agriculture Organization (FAO), where she successfully and skillfully created the Women’s Office within this eminent organization and it aspired to serve female workers in the agricultural sector at the international level, a colossal triumph for Dr. Rivera Marin. After making this immense impact she furthered her political and social aspirations through engagements with the Federal Government, where she represented the state of Guanajuato, the state in which her father was born, in the House of Representatives in 1981 and in the Senate in 1984.

From 1988 through 1997 Dr. Rivera Marín devoted her industrious career to the National Institute for Historic Studies and of the Mexican Revolution where she fashioned studies and publications regarding the emphasis of the magnitude of the Mexican Revolution and how it has impacted the Mexican government today.

Over the past 20 years, she authored several fascinating books concerning her life and her father’s life such as One River Two Riveras, Encounters con Diego Riveraand, in collaboration with Juan Coronel Rivera, Diego, the Red, as well as authoring cookbooks. Today, she is president of the Diego Rivera Foundation and serves on the board of trusts for the Diego Rivera Museum and as lifetime secretary for the Frida Kahlo Casa Azul Museum to further preserve Diego Rivera’s work. “My father considered that his most important artistic contribution was the recovery of mural art in Mexico,” Dr. Rivera Marín states. “In my opinion the most important of these are the murals in the corridors of the National Palace. My father’s art has shown me to love Mexico, as much as possible, and its artistic and cultural manifestations.”

In fact, Dr. Guadalupe Rivera Marín will be visiting Austin as a distinguished honoree at the black tie 30th anniversary gala of the Mexic-Arte Museum on September 27th. “In addition to being one of Mexico’s distinguished academic and political leaders, Dr. Rivera Marín is a visionary and supporter of the arts and museums,” says Mexic-Arte’s Executive Director Sylvia Orozco. “Her generous participation in the early years of Mexic-Arte and the legacy of her family’s involvement has greatly supported the museum. It will be a great honor and very special occasion to celebrate our 30 years with her.” Tickets to the event may be obtained at Mexic-artemuseum.org