Jack Hastings

Jack Hastings (1901-1992), later Earl of Huntingdon, spent time assisting Diego Rivera painting his frescos in San Francisco and Detroit between 1930 and 1932. On his return to Britain in 1934 he painted a small number of commissions and frescos for friends, including one for Marx House in Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1. Marx House had been the home of the Twentieth Century Press where Lenin edited Iskra earlier in the century, and was established in 1933 as a response to the fascists in Germany burning books they wanted to ban.

The mural, measuring 20ft x 10ft, was painted directly onto wet plaster forming an internal wall using the technique he had learned from Rivera. It was covered up for many years and only rediscovered in 1991.

The film below about Jack Hastings was screened to coincide with the unveiling of the mural that year and is shown here courtesy of Tariq Ali and Bandung Ltd, with our apologies for the quality of the digitised videotape.

Courtesy of Marx Memorial Library

Jack Hastings, ‘The Worker of the Future Clearing Away the Chaos of Capitalism’, fresco, 1934

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