Public Art & Murals
Padre Martinez Statue
photo by Elmo Baca
As an educator and publisher, Padre Martínez established the first co-educational primary school in Taos in 1826, and in 1833 he established a college preparatory Latin school for prospective native New Mexican seminarians. Realizing the American invasion of New Mexico was immanent; he expanded his curriculum to include courses in civil law. The padre’s students went on to become some of the most important New Mexican Hispano leaders of the second half of the nineteenth-century, and his alumni included the first Hispano federal judge in New Mexico, leading legal scholars, numerous territorial legislators and even U S Congressional delegates. In 1835 Padre Martínez obtained the first printing press in New Mexico and printed grammar, mathematics, and law books for his schools. He also printed circulars on issues of popular discourse and resumed publishing the regional newspaper, El Crepusculo de la Libertad. Martínez’ career as a political leader was equally impressive. Under Mexican Governments, he was he was elected to the New Mexico Departmental Assembly, and served in the Assembly in 1830-31, 1836-37, and 1845-46. In December 1847 his name headed a formal petition seeking annexation of New Mexico to the United States, and in 1848 he presided over the convention to organize and establish New Mexico as a US Territory. He presided over the New Mexico Constitutional Convention of 1850, served as President of the Upper House of the Legislative Assembly in 1851, and later served as a member of both Upper and Lower Houses of the Legislature. The larger than life size bronze sculpture of Padre Martinez was created by artist Huberto Maestas of San Luis, Colorado. The sculpture was installed in 2005.
Taos Plaza | Taos, NM 87571
mon: 24/7 | tue: 24/7 | wed: 24/7 | thu: 24/7 | fri: 24/7 | sat: 24/7 | sun: 24/7