Diego Rivera

Rivera portrait by Frida Kahlo

Diego Rivera portrait by Frida Kahlo

I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream.

Diego Rivera (1886-1957) is a Mexican muralist known for his large scale frescos depicting social, political and industrial themes. Using the fresco form in universities and other public buildings, Rivera was able to introduce his work into the everyday lives of the people. Through his art, Rivera was a storyteller. His murals told grand tales of history, from the lives of the native people, to important political figures and the sweep of industry and technology. For him, the frescoes’ size and public accessibility was the perfect canvas on which to tackle the grand themes of the history and future of humanity.

Using a surface of plaster on fiberboard, students will create an  image using watercolors. Their image will express something from their life history that has importance to them. Where did they come from, what is important to them about where they live?

Diego Rivera Lesson Plan

Rivera-Pwrpt Presentation


Murals in Walla Walla

Fall Lesson Review – Rivera 2014 – notes gathered at a lesson review meeting after Fall Quarter

Winter Lesson Review – Rivera 2015 – notes gathered at a meeting after Winter quarter.

Rivera Books that have been donated to the library of your school:

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh

A wonderful children’s book about the life of Diego Rivera suitable for kids aged 5-9. Tonatiuh introduces different art styles that Rivera experimented with in a way that is entertaining and understandable for children.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Their Lives and Ideas, 24 Activities by Carol Sabbeth

A book filled with exciting activities and ideas for kids to explore while learning about the amazing lives of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Kids can experience the positive impact of art through projects that are interactive and provoke self-reflection. Good for kids aged 9 and up.

Diego by Jonah Winter

A bilingual children’s book featuring the story of Diego Rivera’s life, in both Spanish and English,  coupled with vibrant, colorful illustrations. This book does a wonderful job of showing the connection between Rivera’s work and his pride for the Mexican people. Good for kids aged 3-7.

Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People by Susan Goldman Rubin

A book perhaps more advanced readers, Rubin reveals the thinking and movements that influenced Rivera’s work over the course of his career. Commonly toted as an artist for the people, Rivera’s work revolved around the issues and struggles of his people. Age Range: 8-12


Carnegie Picture Lab is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that focuses on art eduction in Walla Walla valley schools. Read more about CPL here .