Remember (circa 1865) by George Hallmark
Tell Me More
The building we know today as the Alamo began in 1718 as mission San Antonio de Valero, located on the San Antonio River in what was then known as the Spanish province of Tejas (Texas). After secularization in 1793, the mission compound was used to garrison soldiers that the Spanish government sent from a small town called Alamo de Parras in southern Coahuila. The mission buildings and plaza were gradually transformed into a fort that became known as the "Alamo". The first hospital in Texas, although military, was established at the Alamo in 1805. The Alamo remained in Spanish hands until 1821 when Mexico finally gained its independence from Spain.
In 1832 General Antonio López de Santa Anna began his rise to power when he overthrew the existing Mexican government. For the next several years the citizens of Tejas began to voice their concerns over his strict dictatorial reign. Many Anglo colonists and Tejanos wanted separate Mexican statehood for Tejas, and some even favored independence.
As tensions rose between the Mexican government and the colonists, General Santa Anna sent troops to end the insurrection. The Mexican soldiers strengthened San Antonio de Béxar, including the old Spanish mission now called the Alamo. This Mexican force was eventually defeated and Texas patriots took control of the Alamo.
Men began to arrive in San Antonio and volunteer to help in it's defense. Lt. Col. William Barret Travis assumed partial command of the garrison along with Jim Bowie, both of whom had been residing in Texas. To this group was added a former American Congressman and legendary frontiersman, David Crockett along with volunteers from Tennessee. These men knew that Santa Anna and his army was marching to take back the installation and punish the colonists.
General Santa Anna and his advance forces reached San Antonio on February 23, 1836. The siege of the Alamo was about to begin. The defenders were a mix of Anglos and Tejanos from all walks of life and, they came from Texas, the United States and Europe. For the next two weeks Mexican canons bombarded the Alamo, and on March 6 some 2,500 Mexican troops stormed the stronghold. All 189 Alamo defenders were killed.
In 1850, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, added the familiar arched top to hide a new roof. The building was used as a store house for many years after.
The memory of that great battle provided inspiration to General Sam Houston's troops on April 21, 1836 at San Jacinto. The cry of "Remember the Alamo" was heard across the battlefield as Houston defeated Santa Anna and gained independence for Texas. 2011 marks the 175th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo.
About The Artist
Born and raised in north-central Texas, George Hallmark was an architectural designer and commercial artist before turning to easel painting. Voted the official Texas State Artist in 1988, his work hangs in many prestigious private and corporate collections, including those of Texas Instruments, the Medical Heritage Collection, the Texas Capitol, MBNA, and the Capitol in Washington, D.C. He is an honorary lifetime member of the New Mexico Military Institute Alumni Association.
Hallmark’s work has been featured in Art of the West, Southwest Art, and U.S. Art magazines. He is an annual participant in the Prix de West Exhibition and Sale at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, and the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. The artist also participates in the Eiteljorg Museum’s Quest for the West show in Indianapolis.
Hallmark has come full circle to his architectural roots. His love of the subject is prominent in his unique, painterly style in the delineation of stucco walls, tile roofs, and long shadows in his beautiful works. He is currently completing new paintings from recent trips to Mexico, France, Spain, and Italy.
The artist’s originals are represented by Nedra Matteucci Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Insight Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas. His work is reproduced by Somerset Fine Art in Fulshear, Texas.
"The longer I paint, the more I enjoy this wonderful blessing of creation. The good Lord gave me this incredible desire to be an artist; the rest has been just plain, hard work.”
- George Hallmark