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.
About the Author
Catherine Nixon Cooke is the author of Juan O'Gorman: A Confluence of Civilizations and Powering a City: How Energy and Big Dreams Transformed San Antonio, both published by Trinity University Press; The Thistle and the Rose: Romance, Railroads, and Big Oil in Revolutionary Mexico; and Tom Slick, Mystery Hunter, which is in development as a major motion picture. She is a contributor to two anthologies, They Lived to Tell the Tale: True Stories of Modern Adventure from the Legendary Explorers Club and Adventurous Dreams, Adventurous Lives. She and her husband divide their time between San Antonio, the Texas hill country, and more remote parts of the world where untold stories beckon.