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Juan O'Gorman

A Confluence of Civilizations

by Catherine Nixon Cooke


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To create the "Confluence of Civilizations" mural commissioned for the 1968 World's Fair in San Antonio, Texas, Juan O'Gorman collected natural stones from all over Mexico—twelve colors in all—field stones that the artist knew would never fade or change their hue. Juan O'Gorman: A Confluence of Civilizations follows the life of Juan O'Gorman and covers the creation of this spectacular piece of midcentury public art that stands the test of time not just in vibrancy but as one of the most influential works created by a storied Mexican artist.
Juan O'Gorman was a not only a painter and a muralist, a mosaic artist, a critic, and a professor, but he was also an architect and a revolutionary; possibly most famous for his close friendship with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and as designer of their infamous two-house studio in Mexico City—Casa Azul—linked by a symbolic bridge.
To celebrate San Antonio's "HemisFair" Exposition in 1968, Juan created the giant mosaic mural that still adorns one wall of the Lila Cockrell Theater along San Antonio's famed River Walk. The design plans for the five ton mosaic measured 2600 square feet and consisted of 540 numbered panels, each weighting about 90 pounds.

Publication Details

Trinity University Press
Maverick Books
Publication Date:


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Catherine Nixon Cooke (Author)

Catherine Nixon Cooke is former president and CEO of the Mountain Institute, an international nonprofit with four field offices in the Himalayas, and former executive director of the Mind Science Foundation. The author of Tom Slick, Mystery Hunter...

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