Old Tucson

As a result of the Mexican War, the United States annexed Arizona in 1850. The theory of Manifest Destiny, which held that a celestial design lay behind the extension of American institutions and that the doom of native Americans was inevitable, was used as a defense for territorial expansion during and since the Mexican war. When silver and copper were discovered, the rate of European/American settlement accelerated. It was not until 1912 that Arizona became the 48th state.

In 1939, near Tucson, Arizona, Old Tucson Studios was originally built as an outdoor stage set for the filming of Arizona. Since then it has been the setting for countless Hollywood westerns, and parts have been adapted for each movie or TV show to varying degrees.

Old Tucson is neither “old” nor “Tucson,” but it is a kind of historic landmark generated by cowboy/western movies. Thousands of tourists visit Old Tucson each year and through film its spaces have been visited by billions worldwide. It exists as a familiar location for the mythification of the 19th century settler and, by extension, the 20th century entrepreneur less restricted by ethical burdens.

Andrea Robbins and Max Becher 1993

Incoming Train
Mexican Building
Mexican Building
Doctor's Office
Broken Cart
Wall with Cactus
Wheel and Ladder
Wanted Posters
Candle Shop

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