A painting by Diego Rivera of a little boy, wearing a straw hat, yellow shirt, and blue knee length pants, holding a bright green ball

Indian Boy with Ball (Niño Indígena con Pelota)

Note: This painting belonged to the collection of Dwight W. Morrow and his wife Elizabeth. Morrow served as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico in the late 1920’s, where he and Elizabeth assembled an extensive collection of Mexican popular art. Morrow’s appreciation of Mexican culture extended to his innovative diplomatic policies, and he used his collection for the promotion of Mexican life and culture in the shaping of U.S. and Mexican relations.

The Morrows’ daughter Anne married aviator Charles Lindbergh in 1929. The two met in 1927 when, at Ambassador Morrow’s invitation, Lindberg flew to Mexico on a goodwill mission that aided greatly in settling relations between the two countries. Greeted as a hero everywhere he went, Lindbergh promoted aviation and exploration, capturing the minds and hearts of the Mexican people.

The Morrows were great admirers of Diego Rivera and they acquired several of his works. As his parting gift to Mexico when his post ended in 1930, Ambassador Morrow commissioned Rivera to paint the mural History of Cuernavaca and Morelos at the Palacio de Cortéz in Cuernavaca, where the Morrows had a country house called Casa Mañana. Even though the Morrows returned to the United States, they continued to collect and promote Mexican arts and crafts. In 1931, they helped organize one of the first traveling exhibitions of Mexican art in the U.S. In 1955, upon Elizabeth’s death, the family donated the entire collection to the Mead Museum at Amherst, Dwight Morrow’s alma matter.

More Works by Diego Rivera