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April Culture Pass Spotlight: University of Arizona Museum of Art

April Culture Pass Spotlight: University Of Arizona Museum Of Art

April Culture Pass Spotlight:
University of Arizona Museum of Art

Having grown up part-time in Tucson, I spent a lot of time at the University of Arizona. Although my time spent there was mostly for tailgating before football and basketball games, I still have fond memories of walking through campus. One of its treasures is the University of Arizona Art Museum which “believes in the power of art to spark essential conversations and enhance research at our university and in our community,” and showcases two floors of permanent and rotating works that feature a “year-round schedule of exhibitions, programming, and events designed to engage diverse audiences, inspire critical dialogue and champion art as essential to our lives.”

Their permanent collection features pieces from as far back as 800 years ago in many different artistic movements and styles. Some of the notable works include George O’Keefe’s Red Canna and the formerly stolen, and now recovered, Woman-Ochre by Willem de Kooning. For more information on the painting’s journey, visit the UAMA’s page here:

Since the first semester of classes began on campus back in 1891, the University of Arizona has maintained the importance of art education for their students, offering a drawing class to the 32 students who enrolled at the University that first year. Fast forward to 1931, and the UA’s Art Department was moved to the space underneath the football stadium and opened a gallery which featured current and former student works.

Finally, in 1956, a permanent home was built for the University’s art collection which then had over 250 paintings. In 1961 the Kress Foundation, one of the early donors to the UAMA’s permanent collection, made a second major art donation to the museum, the Altarpiece of Ciudad Rodrigo which is still on display on the second floor.

Current exhibitions include Annie Lopez: Origin Story which will be displayed until June of 2024 and a gallery that continues the longstanding tradition of featuring local high school and university students’ work. This summer (May through August of 2024), the UAMA will feature what they refer to as a Vault Show that will showcase pieces from the museum’s permanent collection that have been in storage. This exhibition will focus on newer acquisitions gifted to UAMA in the last five years.

The University of Arizona Museum of Art is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 4:30pm and is closed on Mondays, Sundays, and holidays. It is fully accessible for individuals with mobility disabilities. It also has lockers that visitors can store their purses, water bottles, and other personal belongings in while they explore the museum. In addition to being a partner for our Culture pass program, the UAMA is a partner of our in-person field trip program as well. Culture Passes for the UAMA are available for checkout in all program member libraries throughout Arizona. Visit for more information and a map that can help you find your closest program member library.
1031 North Olive Road, Tucson, AZ 85719 | 520.621.7567

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