According to Graham W.J. Beal, DIA director from 1999 to 2015, Rivera had four main assistants, who were paid $12 a week, and other assistants worked for free—ironic considering that Henry Ford was paying $5 a day to the workers Rivera was portraying in his murals. One of Rivera’s main assistants was Ernest Halberstadt. Beal writes: “Eventually, Halberstadt got tired of having no soles on his shoes and asked Rivera for $18 a week, a $6 raise. When Rivera refused, Halberstadt threatened to walk up and down in front of the museum saying that the artist was ‘unfair to labor.’ Rivera gave him the $18, but he didn’t speak to Halberstadt for a long time after that.”
Friday, September 3, 2021
Rivera Court, Detroit Institute of Arts
not particularly generous with his own assistants.