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Diego Rivera (1886 -1957), The Man, Costume Design for the ballet H.P. (Horsepower), ca. 1931; ink, watercolor, and pencil on paper, 13 7/8 x 9 3/4 in.; The Museum of Modern Art, NY. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1941

Diego Rivera (1886 -1957), The Man, Costume Design for the ballet H.P. (Horsepower), ca. 1931; ink, watercolor, and pencil on paper, 13 7/8 x 9 3/4 in.; The Museum of Modern Art, NY. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1941

After WW I, modern art as a nationally unifying movement in Mexico was eyed by US cultural arbiters as exemplary, especially the murals of Diego Rivera. During the early part of the 20th century, and among many of Mabel’s guests, including Lawrence, Strand, Weston, there was no border between Mexico and New Mexico. During the summer of 1931 Leopold Stokowski met Carlos Chavez at Mabel’s. In March 1932, he premiered Chavez and Rivera’s collaboration H.P (Horsepower) at the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Hall. Twenty-four of the set and costume designs for this 20-minute ballet symphony are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.