Latino Studies

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 356–380 | Cite as

Hombres Y Mujeres Muralistas On a Mission: Painting Latino Identities in 1970s San Francisco

  • Cary Cordova


This article argues for the importance of murals as cultural texts, consciously formed to entertain, influence, and solidify local and transnational communities. In 1974, two teams of artists painted two legendary murals in San Francisco's Mission District: In “Homage to Siqueíros,” the trio of male muralists presented themselves as heirs to famed Mexican muralists in order to solidify their indictment of conditions in the Americas and counter the participatory role of their patron, the Bank of America. In “Latino America,” the female muralists rejected the Chicano Movement's emphasis on Mexican masters and declared a new feminist, collaborative iconography. Although the murals were dissimilar in terms of gender, approach, and aesthetics, the muralists were joined in their desire to unite the local Latino community through their depictions of a shared homeland, or an imagined Latin America. This article highlights the aesthetic, cultural, political, gendered, and regional dimensions of Latino identities through the lens of mural creation.


community murals pan-Latino identity iconography Mission District 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cary Cordova
    • 1
  1. 1.American Studies, Dickinson CollegeCarlisle

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