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Charles Cary Rumsey (1879-1922), Study for Pizarro, 1914; bronze, 21 x 18 x 8 in. (53.3 x 45.7 x 20.3 cm); Mary A.H. Rumsey Bequest, 1991

Charles Cary Rumsey (1879-1922), Study for Pizarro, 1914; bronze, 21 x 18 x 8 in. (53.3 x 45.7 x 20.3 cm); Mary A.H. Rumsey Bequest, 1991

For the Panama-Pacific Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915 to commemorate the opening of the Pan-American Canal, Rumsey exhibited a colossal plaster sculpture of Pizarro that stood nineteen feet tall. After Rumsey’s death, two mammoth bronze casts were presented to Trujillo, Spain, where Pizarro was born, and Lima, Peru, in front of the Governor’s Palace and near Pizarro’s grave. This small model shows the detail of the larger works. Across the street, in front of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, stands still another version that is almost six feet tall.  In the past, historians lauded the exploits of this conquistador in the New World. However, today Pizarro is recognized as a tyrannical crusader leading the slaughter of innocent Incans because they could not comprehend his demands that they immediately convert to Catholicism. -- Nancy Weekly