"Trinidad: Our Proud Heritage" at Mount San Rafael Hospital - Trinidad, CO
N 37° 10.382 W 104° 29.243
13S E 545506 N 4114191
Quick Description: A 28-by-12 foot ceramic mural designed and executed by Sister Augusta Zimmer located in the lobby of the Mount San Rafael Hospital. The history of the town is detailed within the scenes of this beautiful masterpiece.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 7/11/2012 9:59:27 AM
Waymark Code: WMEVVD
Long Description:"Perhaps nowhere in the world has the history of a community
been depicted more graphically than in the ceramic displayed
in the lobby of Mount San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad, Colorado."
These words, printed in a brochure by the Kiwanis Club of Trinidad, sum up the feeling one gets gazing at this seemingly out-of-place mural. You are not in a world famous art gallery; rather a small town hospital lobby. The mural, entitled "Trinidad: Our Proud Heritage", took four years to complete and is the culmination of the labors of Sister Augusta Zimmer in the late 1970's. The piece chronicles the history of Trinidad from the early Spanish conquistadors to modern rail and highway commerce.
Sister Augusta Zimmer received her bachelor of fine arts degree at the Chicago Art Institute in 1935. She spent two years travelling and studying art in Europe and the Middle East and received a master of fine arts degree from the Pius XII Institute in Florence, Italy. A native of Lamar, Colorado, she dedicated her life to art, creating works in stained glass windows, Venetian glass mosaics, and ceramic murals for churches, hospitals, schools and other institutions. Although she often worked in glass for her mosaics, she designed this one in ceramics to better reflect the natural colors of the area. In her own words, "I have planned it and made it with the people of Trinidad in mind... The details and accuracy were time consuming, but hopefully are rewarding in the recognition and pleasure they will give." The finished piece was dedicated on October 14, 1980 and measures 28 feet across by 12 feet high.
The mural begins on the left side with Spanish conquistadors marching along the banks of the Purgatoire River in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Gold (seen in the upper left hand corner of the mural). Interestingly there is no mention of the native Indians who inhabited the area before the European explorers arrived in the late 1500's.
The two houses below are those of Trinidad pioneers Don Felipe Baca and Frank G. Bloom, now part of the Trinidad History Museum. On the left side are the profiles of Don Felipe Baca (who brought his family from New Mexico and founded Trinidad), Frank G. Bloom (who built the commercial aspect of coal mining), and Dr. Michael Beshoar (Trinidad's first physician).
The Morley Mine represents the coal mining industry and the expansion of the region through the railroad. Note the flag with 38 stars when Colorado became the 38th state in 1876.
Near the center of the mural is a picture of the Old Mt San Rafael hospital. The four churches below are the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Zion Lutheran Church, Temple Aaron, and Methodist Church.
On the right side of the mural are some of Trinidad's notable modern buildings including the Trinidad State Nursing Home and the new Mt San Rafael Hospital in which the mural is exhibited. Note the amazing detail in depth as well as scope of the project. Every piece was painstakingly handcrafted, painted and fired by Sister Augusta Zimmer over four years; and the result is something truly to be admired.
Other features visible in the mural include the Ludlow Monument, coke ovens at Cokedale, Trinidad's first school, Ave Maria Shrine, Carnegie Public Library, First National Bank, Las Animas County Courthouse, Trinidad Highschool and Trinidad State Junior College, as well as Simpson's Rest and Fisher's Peak.