Scandalous Murals of Rincon Center

Neighborhood: Downtown/ Embarcadero


In the midst of anti-Communist hysteria after World War II, it was pretty bold to paint 27 murals that challenged the traditional, patriotic view of America. It was even bolder to do so while being Russian. But the Moscow-born Anton Refregier had a vision: to depict the history of San Francisco, with all its triumphs, blunders, and hardship illustrated in rich color. Hysterical legislators across the country in DC tried desperately to have the work removed. Luckily for us, they failed.

Thirty years later, the murals faced demolition again. Protesting even louder, fans succeeded in preserving this example of Social Realism depicting San Francisco’s history. Explore a collection of art that shocked, challenged and enthralled 1950s America. It’s an exclusive walk through a hidden gem, featuring the egregious details of the panic these murals once incited. Join us and examine a truly one-of-a-kind retelling of the city’s history.


Next Tours

    None scheduled in next 60 days


    This tour is indoors.

    Tour Length: Approximately 1 hour


    Meet in Rincon Center historic lobby, east end, near Mission & Steuart Sts. Public transit: MUNI lines F, 2, 14, 21. BART/MUNI Metro: Embarcadero station.

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    Please note: Private groups tours required for groups of 8 or more.