A painter, muralist, sculptor, etcher and art educator, Ralph Stackpole was concerned about social realist causes, especially during the Depression era of the 1930s when he was part of the Federal Art Project for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). That focus on economic problems combined with his interest in mural painting led to him being responsible for bringing the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera to San Francisco in 1930. Rivera lived in Stackpole's studio during his stay in the city.
Ralph Stackpole was born in Williams, Oregon on May 1, 1885, and he arrived in San Francisco at age 16. He enrolled at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art where he studie
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