In 1955, Rivera set up a trust fund through the Bank of Mexico (the nation's central bank) to administer and oversee the functioning of both sites and assure close adherence to the regulations established for the two museums. At his death, Anahuacalli was still under construction. His daughter Ruth Rivera and architect Juan O'Gorman supervised the conclusion of this building. Thanks to the generosity of Dolores Olmedo, the museum was finally completed in 1963, and opened its doors to the public in 1964.
The Diego Rivera Anahuacalli Museum is exceptional in terms of its architecture, design and construction. It is made from the same volcanic rock on which it is built. The word teocalli (a Nahuatl term) means House of Energy.
Anahuacalli was planned by Rivera with the intention of sheltering his collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts. He had hoped to build an Arts City, that is, a space which integrated architecture, painting, dance, music, theater handicrafts, and ecology. In order to construct this site, Diego Rivera was in close contact with the famous North American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom he exchanged ideas on how to integrate the architectural elements of this project while at the same time respecting the unique natural setting surrounding it. This design of Anahuacalli reflects this challenge.
The central plaza was conceived as an outdoor theater with access to a large art gallery and the museum itself. The building reflects both Teotihuacan and Mayan cultural influences in combination with contemporary constructive elements.
“The atmosphere of this museum created by its brilliant donor is unequaled anywhere in the world. Its degree of spirituality and beauty makes Anahuacalli an unforgettable museum ... The personal effort and the artistic genius of the collector and his touching generosity, come together in this museum in a monumental fashion.“
Text: Hilda Trujillo