Arizona State Capitol Paintings

Arizona State Capitol Paintings

In 1913, artist Lon Megargee contacted Governor George Hunt and offered to create a series of paintings representing Arizona. Some of these images were literal, depicting American Indians hunting or a prospector gazing at the land, while others were allegorical in nature. The painting "The Spirit of Arizona," which Megargee promised would "spell Arizona," depicted goddesses carrying agricultural goods grown on Arizona farms. Displayed at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, these pictures were later transferred back to the Capitol building in Arizona, and are displayed there, as Megargee intended, to this day.

Read About It

Use the document analysis sheet and the photograph analysis sheet to uncover clues about the people that created the documents. 

Understand It

  1. When were the Arizona State Capitol paintings created? What do these paintings depict?
  2. What was Megargee's goal in creating the Arizona State Capitol paintings? Are all Arizonans' experiences represented in these images?
  3. If you were commissioned to create a series of paintings for the Arizona State Capitol, would you paint the same topics, or would you choose different ones? Why or why not?

Explore More

Visit the websites below to learn more. Based on this new information, have your answers to the questions above changed?

For Students

For Teachers


Arts and Architecture