Diego Rivera Mural Table

For the Philadelphia Museum of Art's "Mexican Modernism: Paint the Revolution" exhibit about Mexican painting in the 20th century, there was a need to cover the important place of murals in its history. It was not possible to transport any murals for obvious reasons, so the decision was made to photograph on of Diego Rivera's murals and display it at life size in a video loop with an accompanying touch table to explore the mural in depth. The original concept of the interactive was to flip the typical exploration interactive where parts of a painting are touched to learn details into a kind of "treasure hunt" interaction. People are given details to look for in parts of the mural and they complete the search by touching the the correct spots in the mural's panels. This searching mode of interaction helps visitors to be active in looking at the details in the mural's many panels. For example, the mural contains portraits of Frida Kahlo and Henry Ford as well as many politically provocative representations of rich people and the peasants rising up. The interactive is fully bilingual to support the exhibit as it traveled to Mexico City.


Wall Street Journal review of the exhibit: "Even huge, unmovable murals—still the most remarkable aspect of Mexican
modernism—are present via three digital displays. The best one projects, in rotating panels, the
courtyard façade of Mexico City’s Ministry of Public Education, which Rivera had covered with
“Ballad of the Agricultural Revolution” (1926-27) and “Ballad of the Proletarian Revolution”
(1928-29). An interactive display explains his powerful scenes and some of their characters (such
as Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller in “Wall Street Banquet”). It’s an excellent use of
technology in an art museum.