Art & Art History ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis explores the ways in which two Central American artists of the 20th century conceived of their own emerging nations through works of art that present national narratives. The first artist discussed is the Nicaraguan Armando Morales (b. 1927). This discussion centers on Moraless lithographic portfolio of seven images titled La saga de Sandino, which recounts the rebellion led by Augusto César Sandino (1895-1934) between 1926 and 1933. The second artist discussed is the Honduran Arturo López Rodezno (1908-75), who set out to produce, between the 1940's and 1960's, murals that focused on the figures of ancient Maya rulers and courtiers. The main question I am addressing is the type of nationalism that these contrasting artistic projects entailed. The evidence presented in this thesis shows Morales's project La saga de Sandino to be inscribed by a popular form nationalism, while López Rodezno's artistic practice is inscribed by an official nationalism. The contrasting visions and discourses implemented through the artistic projects studied in this thesis demonstrate that opposing conceptions of the nation can be located within the art of 20th century Central America.



Document Type


Degree Name

Art History

Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

Craven, David

Second Committee Member

Barnet-Sanchez, Holly

Third Committee Member

Villela, Khristaan


Central American Art, Nationalism, Armando Morales, Arturo López Rodezno, Nicaraguan Art, Honduran Art, Augusto César Sandino