Mexican artist Diego Rivera’s painting sing the praises of a Detroit past …

Detroit’s current financial woes are well known: The city declared bankruptcy two years ago, but it’s slowly coming back.

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There was another time, however, when times were tough for Detroit — during the Great Depression. Still, that didn’t stop some local titans of industry from commissioning art. They brought in Mexican muralist Diego Rivera to paint their city. Rivera came with his wife, fellow artist Frida Kahlo.

The couple made Detroit their home and their canvas for almost a year. Decades later, their work from that period is featured in a new exhibit. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit, on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts until July 12, explores the tumultuous and creatively explosive year that Rivera and Kahlo spent in Detroit.

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