Art & Art History ETDs

Publication Date



In early nineteenth-century Havana, Cuba, a small commemorative monument was erected on the Plaza de Armas to honor the site of the city's founding. Through academic history painting, Neoclassical architecture, and the appropriation of symbolic urban space, this memorial reconstructed the sixteenth-century history of the city for nineteenth-century audiences. This addition to the plaza could be seen as an extension of the Bourbon Reforms, which aimed to modernize the city by introducing public works and pedagogical methods that would make this Cuban colony function more efficiently in the insterests of Spain. However, upon closer examination, the memorial for the plaza reveals layers of meaning, which indicate the active reconfiguration of Euro-American classicisms by local groups, a visual dialogue between elite and masses, and the polysemic nature of Colonial urban space.""

Project Sponsors

Latin American and Iberia Institute, University of New Mexico; Department of Art, Architecture, and Humanities, Clemson University



Document Type


Degree Name

Art History

Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mead, Christopher Curtis

Second Committee Member

Andrews, Justine Marie

Third Committee Member

Burroughs, Charles


Cuban, Architectural history, Identity, Creole