Jácome Art Panel at Tucson Convention Center

Category   Historic Landmarks

Address

300 S Fire Central Pl
Tucson, AZ 85701

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#9 on Turquoise Trail Map: This panel depicts the arrival of the Spanish and used to be displayed on the front of the Jácome Department Store in downtown Tucson. When the store was demolished in the 1970s, the Jácome family donated the art to the new convention center. The panel, although artistically well done, is historically inaccurate. It depicts the Spanish in heavy armor and with metal “conquistador” helmets; neither was worn by Spanish soldiers in Arizona. The Spanish had learned that to defend themselves against Native Americans, metal armor was completely unnecessary. During the Presidio period leather vests were worn. For headgear, if soldiers wore helmets at all, they were small and rounded, somewhat like the helmets from WWI. Also, placing the Native people in a subservient position at the bottom of the panel reflects a mythic, stereotypical worldview of the early 1900’s rather than an accurate depiction of the relationship between people during the 1700’s.

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