In 1964, architect, artist and designer Genaro Álvarez created an amethyst stone mosaic portrait of Mayor Richard J. Daley with the city’s “I Will” spirit arising from the Great Chicago Fire in the background. This tribute portrait was displayed for about one month at the Mexican Tourist Bureau, in City Hall and finally at the Chicago Press Club library with other works by Álvarez before it was donated to the UIC Richard J. Daley Library.
Álvarez regularly integrated protruding precious stones into his mosaic murals and Venetian style portraits of historic leaders. He named this practice “coarse topography.”
The “I Will” mural is on display at the National Museum of Mexican Art through August 2018 as part of the exhibition, Arte Diseño Xicágo: Mexican Inspiration from the World’s Columbian Exposition to the Civil Rights Era, as well as the Art Design Chicago citywide celebration of Chicago’s art and design history.