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 Jose Maria Sert Y Badia  (1874 - 1945)

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Lived/Active: New York / France/Spain      Known for: mural painting-allegorical themes

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José Maria Sert Y Badia is primarily known as Jose Maria Sert Y Badia

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A Spanish artist known primarily for public mural painting, José Sert spent most of his adult life in Paris, France where one of his murals was placed in the Hotel de Ville.  Other locations are Rockefeller Center and the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City; League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and the Cathedral of Vich in Catelonia, Spain.

At 30 Rockefeller Center, known as the GE Center, his murals in the main lobby are allegorical and include American Progress, Man's Mastery of the Material World, Evolution of Machinery, Eradication of Disease, Aboliton of Slavery, and Suppression of War, Time and Contest-1940 on the north staircase to the mezzanine.  American Progress was done as a replacement to a mural by Diego Rivera, which was removed because of controversial political images including the face of Lenin, which the Rockefellers took as "an assault on capitalism and everything they championed." (58)  Sert was chosen because other murals by him were installed in the Center and because he was reliable and talented.  His theme of 'American Progress' "depicts the development of America through the unity of brain and brawn." (58)  The work measures 41 feet in length and 16 feet in height.  His ceiling fresco, Time, is 5000 square feet.

Christine Roussel, The Guide to the Art of Rockefeller Center

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