Sculptures in Lincoln Park/El Parque de Mexico

Title: Emiliano Zapata
Artist: Ignacio Asunsolo
Date: 1980
Material: Bronze on concrete base with fountain

From 1910 until he was assassinated by agents of Venustiano Carranza, Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919) led a peasant army in southern Mexico. Honored and remembered for establishing the foundation of Mexico's agrarian land policy. Zapata formed cooperatives and redistributed land confiscated earlier by large landowners during the reign of Porfirio Diaz.

Ignacio Asunsolo (1890-1965), born in Parral, Chihuahua, was one of Mexico's most important sculptors of monuments. In addition to this $386,000 monument to Zapata, which was donated to Los Angeles by the people of Mexico City, Asunsolo executed a similar one for Huipulco, D. F. His most famous work was the large monument to Miguel Aleman at the University of Mexico, which was dynamited twice during the student unrest in 1968.

Text from accompanying plaque: "Born in Anenecuilco and murdered in Chinameca, Morelos. General commander of the Ejercito Libertador del Centro y del Sur, throughout the 1920 Mexican Revolution. He [?] the farmers movement for taking the land on, by proclaiming the Plan de Ayala; fundamental principle to the land improvement in Mexico.. Gift from Mexico City to the City of Los Angeles, 1980."

Title: Emperor Cuauhtemoc
Artist: Anonymous
Date: 1981
Material: Bronze
Emperor Cuauhtemoc (1502?-1525) is honored and remembered, not only for being the last Aztec ruler, but also for his resistance to Hernan Cortes and the Spanish conquest. After the death of Moctezuma in 1520, the Aztecs defeated Cortes and pushed the invading Spanish forces out of Tenochtitlan. Ciutlahuac, a nephew of Moctezuma, was appointed leader of the Aztecs but his death a few months later during a smallpox epidemic, led to the succession of Cuauhtemoc, who was another nephew of Moctezuma. As the last Aztec emperor, Cuauhtemoc defended the capital, Tenochtitlan, during the final assault by Cortes. After the capital fell in August, 1521, Cuauhtemoc was captured, imprisoned for four years, and then executed. This monument is similar, but not identical to a larger late 19th century monument to Cuauhtemoc that can be seen in the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City.

From the plaque on the sculpture:
Cuauhtemoc, 1495-1525.
Last of the Aztec emperors, Cuauhtemoc led a valiant defense of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) against the invasion of the Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortes in 1521.

Although defeated and captured, Cuauhtemoc's pride and dignity remained strong. Even when tortured by fire, he refused to reveal the location of the Aztec treasure.

Cuauhtemoc was hanged on Feb 26, 1525, accused by Cortes of conspiring against him.

A bicentennal presentation to the city of Los Angeles by Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc (Monterrey, Mexico) and Wisdom Import Sales Company, Inc (Irvine, CA). October 13, 1981.

Photos by Sal Rojas

The text below is from a print publication entitled Lincoln Park (El Parque de Mexico); Statues and Sculptures, published by Urban Art Inc. The original publication was made possible through grants from the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles and Save Outdoor Sculpture!

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