Kane Hall at the University of Washington is now home to a historic mural by renowned artist Pablo O’Higgins. Painted in 1945 for a local maritime labor union, the mural originally adorned their labor hall until the building was scheduled for demolition in ca. 1959. It was donated to the UW but not displayed and restored until the mid-1970s. It has hung in Kane Hall since 1977. The artwork represents the “centrality of working people in struggles for rights, and the idea that those struggles transcend national borders.” (Memorial plaque, Kane Hall)
Born and raised in the U.S., O’Higgins relocated to Mexico City in his 20s and adopted Mexico as his permanent home. He became an instant devotee of Mexican art and Diego Rivera in particular. O’Higgins worked with Rivera on several installations. O’Higgins is known both for his artistic achievements as well as his political and social activism. The mural at Kane Hall is one of only two known murals by him in the U.S. — most of his murals are in Mexico.
The Roethke Auditorium (Kane Hall room 130) housed performances by Teatro Campesino in the 1970s.