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A Bibliography for Exploring Art, History and People of Mission San Xavier Del Bac.

(version: May, 2024)

This list was first compiled by John Carhuff in December, 2014, with contributions from Bill Jessberger & Tom Christensen in April, 2019. Currently maintained by Patronato Staff.



iva Kino! (2018) | Full Movie | Full Documentary

Viva Kino! (2018)
Full Movie | Full Documentary

Viva Kino! (2018) | Película Completa | Documental Completo

Viva Kino! (2018)
Película Completa | Documental Completo

Spanish-language documentary on Kino’s history told from perspective of ranchers, historians, Christians, and indigenous people on both sides of the border.

Who Are the Sobaipuri O’odham

First Flow: The Santa Cruz River at Wa:k

Kino’s Footsteps: Tumacacori




Annerino, John. The Virgin of Guadalupe: Art and Legend. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, Print.


Bargellini, Clara, Jonathan Brown, Donna Pierce, and Rogelio Gomar. Painting a New World: Mexican art and life: 1521 – 1821. A publication of the Frederick and Jan Mayer Center for Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial Art at the Denver Art Museum ; [exhibition at Denver Art Museum, Denver, April 3 – July 25, 2004]. Denver, CO: Denver Art Museum, 2004. Print.
This publication of the Denver Art Museum draws on its extensive collection of Spanish Colonial painting to illuminate life in the Spanish colonies and the rich art trove that was produced during the colonial period.

Bahr, D., Smith, J., Allison, W. S., & Hayden, J. (2023). The short, swift time of gods on earth: The Hohokam chronicles. Univ of California Press. Translated interview with two Pima (Akimel O’odham) individuals from 1935, directly recounting their creation narrative and relationship to the Hohokam. 

Battistini, Matilde. Symbols and allegories in art. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, Print.

Bolton, Herbert Eugene. Rim of Christendom; A Biography of Eusebio Francisco Kino, Pacific Coast Pioneer, New York: Macmillan Co., 1936. Print.
The most complete biography of the remarkable European Jesuit who established Mission San Xavier, and writings about his fellow Jesuits in New Spain.

Bolton, Herbert Eugene. The Padre on horseback. Chicago: Loyola University Press, Print.
A short, easy to read sketch of Eusebio Kino.

Burckhalter, David. Baja California Missions: In the Footsteps of the Padres.. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2013. Print.
The Missions of Baja photographed by a Tucson photographer.

Burke, Marcus B.. Treasures of Mexican colonial painting: the Davenport Museum of Art collection. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1998. Print.
The author explains the colonial art of New Spain and illustrates the text with excellent photos of one of America’s best colonial collections.

Burrus, Ernest J. Kino Writes to the Duchess: Letters of Eusebio Francisco Kino, J. to the Duchess of Aveiro. Rome: Jesuit Historical Institute, 1965. Print.


Castillo, Bernal, and J. M. Cohen. The conquest of New Spain. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1963. Print.
First-person account of the conquest by a soldier of Cortes.

Clevenger, Ben. The Far Side of the Sea. Tucson, AZ: Jesuit Fathers of Southern Arizona, 2003. Print.
A novel about Kino and Manhe and the archeological hunt for Kino’s grave.

Collins, Richard. Collins, Richard. Riding behind the Padre: Horseback Views from Both Sides of the Border. Print.

Vaquero Padre by Paul Colt
Colt, Paul. Vaquero Padre. Print.

Cornwell, Hilarie, and James Cornwell. Saints, signs and symbols: The Symbolic Language of Christian Art.. London: Spck publishing, 2009. Print.
An indispensable guide to Christian symbols

Crosby, Harry. Antigua California: mission and colony on the peninsular frontier, 1697-1768. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994. Print.
This book contains a good explanation of the Jesuit Expulsion of 1767.

** De Grazia, T. De Grazia and Padre Kino, De Grazia Gallery in the Sun, 1979
Depicts memorable events in the life and times of the padre on horseback.

Donahue-Wallace, Kelly. Art and Architecture of Viceregal Latin America, 1521-1821. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008. Print.
Survey of art and architecture in New Spain and the viceroyalty of Peru.


Fontana, Bernard L., San Xavier del Bac: Portrait of a Desert Church [5th edition]. Tucson: Southwestern Mission Research Center, 2015. Print.
Fontana is the great authority on Mission San Xavier del Bac. In the booklet he exhaustively details the history of the Mission from founding to the modern era.

Fontana, Bernard L.. Entrada: the legacy of Spain and Mexico in the United StatesTucson: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1994. Print.

Fontana, Bernard L., and Edward McCain. A gift of angels: the art of Mission San Xavier del Bac. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2010. Print.
A richly illustrated coffee table book featuring all of the paintings and sculptures in Mission San Xavier del Bac. With extensive footnotes and bibliography this is a must read for the serious student of the Mission and Christian religious art.


Giffords, Gloria Fraser. Sanctuaries of earth, stone, and light: the churches of northern New Spain, 1530-1821. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2007. Print.
Well illustrated book about the Missions of Sonora and other northern provinces of New Spain. The book is heavy on architectural illustrations and construction detail.

Greenfield, Amy Butler. A perfect red: empire, espionage, and the quest for the color of desire. New York: Harper Collins, 2005. Print.
Everything you ever wanted to know about cochineal and much more including a short history of the conquest and English pirates. Important for paint pigments, trade and understanding Colonial Mexico.

Following are titles by Big Jim Griffith, Folklorist. All worth reading:

 ** Griffith, James S. A border runs through it. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson 2011.

Griffith, James S. Legacy of conquest; the arts of Northwest Mexico. Colorado Springs: Taylor Museum of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 1967. Print.

Griffith, James S., and Felipe S. Molina. Old men of the fiesta: an introduction to the Pascola arts. Phoenix, AZ: Heard Museum, 1980. Print.

Griffith, James S. Beliefs and holy places: a spiritual geography of the Pimería Alta. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1992. Print.

Griffith, James S. Mission Churches of the Sonoran Desert. Tucson: University of Arizona Library, 1994. Print.

Griffith, James S. A shared space folklife in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 1995. Print.

Griffith, James S., and José Galvez.The unbroken chain: the traditional arts of Tucson’s Mexican-American community = La cadena que no se corta : las artes tradicionales de la comunidad méxico-americana de Tucsón. Tucson, Ariz., 1996. Print.


Kelemen, Pál. Baroque and Rococo in Latin America. 2. ed. New York: Dover, 1967. Print.

Kessell, John L. Mission of sorrows; Jesuit Guevavi and the Pimas, 1691-1767. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1970. Print.


Lamberton, Ken, Dry River: Stories of Life, Death, and Redemption on the Santa Cruz Tucson, 2011 The University of Arizona Press. Print


McLaughlin, David J.. The California Missions Source Book. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, Second edition, 2012. Print.
Brief book about all 21 California missions with interesting facts and figures.


Officer, James E.. Hispanic Arizona: 1536-1856.. 2. print. ed. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press, 1989. Print.
For an understanding of the history of the area and the role played by the Mission and missionaries, this work is very helpful.

Officer, James E., Bernard L. Fontana, Mardith K. Miller, and Sandra Scott. The Pimería Alta: missions & more. Tucson, Ariz.: Southwestern Mission Research Center, 1996. Print.
Very important reference for Mission docents. Very useful bibliography and illustrations.


Pickens, Buford. The missions of northern sonora: A 1935 Field Documentation. University of Arizona Press, 1993.

Polzer, S.J., Charles W. ed, Kino’s Biography of Francisco Javier Saeta, original Spanish text edited by Ernest J. Burrus. Rome : Roma : Saint Louis, Mo.: Jesuit historical institute (IS); Institutum historicum Societatis Iesu ; Saint Louis University, 1971. Print.

In Kino’s own words he describes the thinking and activities of the Jesuit missionary and makes thoughtful remarks about relations between the Native Americans, missionaries and civil authorities.

Polzer, S.J., Charles W., Kino His Missions, His Monuments. Tucson, 1998. Jesuit Fathers of Southern Arizona. Print
A short guide to the Kino missions of northern Sonora and Southern Arizona.


Reyes, Ba. Private Women, Public Lives Gender and the Missions of the Californias. Austin: U of Texas, 2009. Print.


San Xavier, The Spirit Endures. Phoenix: Arizona Highway Books, 1997. Print.
A lighter treatment of the Mission. Well illustrated and with a very good timeline.

Sanford, Trent Elwood. The story of architecture in Mexico, including the work of the ancient Indian civilizations and that of the Spanish colonial empire which succeeded them, together with an account of the background in Spain and a glimpse at the modern trend,. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1947. Print.
Sanford’s work is simply the most complete treatment of Mexican architecture with emphasis on 17th century structures. Excellent glossary of terms and place names.

Sedelmayr, Jacobo, and Daniel S. Matson. Before Rebellion: Letters & Reports of Jacobo Sedelmayr, S.J. Tucson: Arizona Historical Society, Print.

Sheridan, Thomas E.. Arizona: a history. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995. Print.

Sheridan, Thomas E. Landscapes of Fraud: Mission Tumacácori, the Baca Float, and the Betrayal of the O’odham. Tucson: U of Arizona, 2006. Print.

Schuetz-Miller, Mardith K., Building and Builders in Hispanic California 1769-1850. Southwest Mission Research Center, Tucson and A Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Presidio Research Publication, Santa Barbara
Detailed study of California mission builders, craftsmen with information on guilds and business practices.


Thompson, Raymond H., and Werner S. Zimmt. A Jesuit Missionary in Eighteenth-Century Sonora: the Family Correspondence of Philipp Segesser. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico, 2014. Print.

Toussaint, Manuel. Colonial art in Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967. Print.
The basic reference on Colonial art.


Various authors. Seeds of change: the legacy of Father Kino. Tucson, AZ: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2007. Print.


Walker, Henry P., and Don Bufkin. Historical atlas of Arizona. 2nd ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986. Print.
Maps and more about Arizona history

Weber, David J. The Spanish frontier in North America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. Print.
A contemporary overview of all of Spanish colonial activities in what is today North America.

Iconography Religious paintings

The following books are excellent reference works, well illustrated, and showing the iconography of religious painting:

Giorgi, Rosa, and Stefano Zuffi. Saints in art. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, Print.

Zuffi, Stefano. Angels and Demons in Art. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, Print

Texts specifically about Native Americans

Bahti, Tom. Southwestern Indian Ceremonials. Nevada: KC Publications, 1979. Print.

Bahti, Tom. Southwestern Indian tribes. Eighteenth Printing ed. Flagstaff, Ariz.: KC Publications, 2010. Print.
Tom Bahti, and his late father Mark are Tucsonans who know the native peoples first-hand and also supported the Patronato.

Chana, Leonard F., Susan Lobo, and Barbara Chana. The sweet smell of home: the life and art of Leonard F. Chana. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2009. Print.

 Erickson, Winston P. Sharing the desert: the Tohono O’odham in history. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994. Print.

 Fontana, Bernard L. Of Earth & Little Rain. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989. Print.

 ** Hutton, Paul Andrew. The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History 2016

 ** Note also that the Chiricahua Desert Museum in Rodeo, NM has recently opened a new Geronimo Event Center that features an extensive pictorial timeline of the fascinating and turbulent history of the Apache. It is worth the visit!

** Resendez, Andres. The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America, 2016. Print.

 Seymour, Deni J. Where the Earth and sky are sewn together: Sobaipuri-O’odham contexts of contact and colonialism. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, Print.

Seymour, Deni J. From the land of ever winter to the American Southwest Athabaskan migrations, mobility, and ethnogenesis. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2012. Print.

Sheridan, Thomas E., and Nancy J. Parezo. Paths of life: American Indians of the Southwest and northern Mexico. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1996. Print.

 Yetman, David, and David Leedom Shaul. The Ópatas: In Search of a Sonoran People. Tucson: U of Arizona, 2010. Print.


Artes de México, Number 70, Arte y Espiritualidad Jesuitas

Essays about Jesuit art and what it reveals about spirituality.

 Artes de México, Number 82, Jesuitas y La Ciencia

This number contains a series of essays dealing with the role of the Jesuits in science and education

Artes de México, Number 92, Los Jesuitas ante el despotismo ilustrado

The expulsion of the Jesuits, the personalities involved and the consequences.


Journal of the California Mission Studies Association, Volume 29, number 1 and other years and numbers ed. Santa Barbara, Calif.: The CMSA, 2013. Print.


Internet Resources

Crosswhite, F. S. (1981). Desert plants, habitat and agriculture in relation to the major pattern of cultural differentiation in the O’odham people of the Sonoran desert.

Giffords, G. F. 1990. Spanish Colonial Polychrome Statuary: Replicating the Lions of San Xavier del Bac. APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology, 22 (3), 19-29.
Giffords’ description of how the original statuary was made and how she recreated the wooden lions inside San Xavier in the late 1980s.

Jeffery, R. B. (2003). From Azulejos to Zaguanes: the Islamic legacy in the built environment of Hispano-AmericaJournal of the Southwest, 289-327.
Incoming board member, R. Brooks Jeffery.

Martínez, D. (2013). Hiding in the shadows of history: revitalizing Hia-Ced O’odham peoplehood. Journal of the Southwest, 131-173.’odham_Peoplehood/links/63d562ee62d2a24f92d7aa0e/Hiding-in-the-Shadows-of-History-Revitalizing-Hia-Ced-Oodham-Peoplehood.pdf

Odegaard, N., Harvey, R., Watkinson, G., Moreno, S., Herr-Cardillo, S. 2023. Conserving church bells: Answering for whom the bells toll. t. ICOM-CC. 20th Triennial Conference Preprints, Valencia, 18–22 September 2023, ed. J. Bridgland. Paris: International Council of Museums.

Recent conference paper describing work completed by PSX conservation staff on the chapel bells at San Xavier.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center:
For useful information about Saint Kateri.

Seeds of Change: the Legacy of Father Kino, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Winter 2007.

Seymour, D. J. (2019). Finding Father Kino’s San Xavier del Wa: k. International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 772-805.

Seymour, D. J. (2022). Sobaipuri O’odham Missionization, Colonization, and Uprisings. Self Published.

Umberger, E. (2019). A Tale of Two Saints at San Xavier del Bac. Kiva, 85(2), 134-160

Umberger, Emily. Bac on the Border. Anales del Instituto de Investigagiones Estéticas, Number 91: 69 – 123. Mexico City Universidad Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigagiones Estéticas, 2007.
This excellent paper, available online, focuses on the Franciscan decorative scheme as seen in the sculpture and painting at Mission San Xavier del Bac. This work is in searchable PDF format.

Other Useful Websites

Arizona Historical

California Mission Studies Association:

Kino Heritage Society:

Patronato Mission San Xavier del Bac:

Southwest Mission Research Center:

Arizona State Museum:
A very useful site for study of indian cultures. Many exhibits may be viewed online.

The Border:
A PBS program about the issues surrounding the US-Mexico border.
Additional Reading for the program: