Best Free Famous Murals

Diego Rivera's San Francisco Pieces

There's no beating the Mission for outdoor murals. Yet no art lovers should miss three of the city's indoor walls emblazoned with the work of the Mexican godfather of the art form himself: Diego Rivera. Start at the City Club of San Francisco (check in with the ground floor lobby guard from 8 to 10 a.m. on weekdays for permission to go up to the 10th floor), where Rivera's Allegory of California shows the Amazon deity Califa (our state's namesake) dwarfing a tableau of workers from the region's industries. Continue to the San Francisco Art Institute to take in The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Rivera painted himself and assistants at work on scaffolding right onto the mural. Then head out to City College's Ocean Avenue campus, where you can easily spend an hour taking in the densely packed details — Frida Kahlo! Josef Stalin! — in the expansive Pan American Unity (check the Web site for weekday hours).

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