Monday, April 13, 2009
Statue of Captain Thomas Fallon.
"This statue of Captain Thomas Fallon was commissioned in 1988. It memorializes the raising of the US Flag in San Jose in 1846, when California was still part of Mexico. Scheduled to be installed in 1990, the statue generated intense controversy. Supporters of the artwork believed it commemorated an important event in San Jose's history. Opponents of the statue responded that is represented a troubling moment in American History, when the United States used the Mexican-American war as a reason to annex California from Mexico. To address the arising from the controversy, the city appointed an Historic Art Advisory Committee.The committee recommended that the city's public art must represent all perspectives of the city's history. Four additional projects were recommended- artworks commemorating the Ohlone Way of Life, the life of Doctor Ernesto Galarza, the founding of the Pueblo, and the agricultural history of the valley.These works have been installed in various locations around the city. This artwork is a reminder that a communities historic events can be interpreted in many ways, depending on one's perspective".
This is what is says at the base of the statue. However I also found another explanataion on the web. "In the 1980s, San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery had the city commission a statue of Fallon raising the U.S. flag in San Jose at a cost of over $800,000. The statue was completed in 1988, and was scheduled to be located in the City Park Plaza (now known as Plaza de César Chávez) near the site of the flag raising. However local groups, including Hispanic Americans, protested that Fallon represented American imperialism and repression of the Mexican population. The statue was stored until 2002, when it was finally displayed in a small park northwest of the original proposed location, near Julian and St. James Streets". I wondered why it seems in such a strange place!