History of Hotel Congress

Pete Martinez

In the late 1930s and ‘40s, the Tap Room was given its touch of western class by artist Pete Martinez. Martinez was one of America’s pre-eminent western artists and a rodeo cowboy. Pete roped & bucked with the best in New York. His artwork was featured in art exhibits, including the lobby of the Garden & Woolworth Galleries. He eventually retired in Tucson with his wife. His fondness for the confines of the Tap Room proved to be a boon for the Hotel – he often paid his bar tab in artwork. So much so, that we now proudly boast the largest private Pete Martinez collection in the country. Many celebrities and regular folk collect Pete Martinez’s work. In fact, we are regularly asked to sell his work to collectors. We always smile and decline. We want his work to remain where he felt at home.