Have you ever been face-to-face with a Jackson Pollock painting? How about a Mark Rothko? A Robert Rauschenberg? If not, you should visit the University of Arizona Museum of Art and experience these famous artists’ works personally.
The museum has plenty of authentic works of art, thanks to its fine donors and successful funding.
Ground broke for the museum in 1955 after the Kress Foundation donated 25 Renaissance master art works in 1951, and Edward Joseph Gallagher Jr. established a memorial collection as a tribute to his son in 1954.
The museum’s mission, stated on its website, is to engage diverse audiences, inspire critical dialogue and champion art as essential to our lives.
“Although ground was broken for the museum in 1955, many people in Tucson don’t realize that we’re here or that we have such a strong collection,” said Gina Compitello-Moore, the marketing manager for the museum. “We’re working hard to change that and no longer be a hidden gem, but rather just a gem in the Tucson arts landscape. We’re excited to engage with new audiences and work to become a resource for campus and Tucson.”
The museum has also undergone some new renovations, including a new layout for the lobby, giving it a sleek and modern look to accommodate today’s predominant interior architectural designs.
Because of the renovations, the admission price has also been slightly increased.
“Due to recent budgetary realities, we had to increase our prices to continue to be able to offer the highest quality exhibitions and programming,” Compitello-Moore said. Rest assured, the renovations are well worth the slight increase in price.
One advantage of visiting the museum is that exhibitions are constantly changing, which means there is always something new to see during each visit. Some current exhibitions are:
“Art Lab Presents” — Become intimate with the history and practice of art at “Art Lab Presents,” which features items from the Museum’s Permanent Collection, including Mark Rothko’s “Green on Blue (Earth-Green and White)”, Jackson Pollock’s “Number 20” and Morris Louis’s “No. IV”.
“School of Art Faculty Exhibition” (through Nov. 8) — This bi-annual exhibition features recent work from faculty in the School of Art.
“Wavelength: The Art of Light” (through Dec. 6) — This exhibition attempts to explore the many different facets of light in art and the way in which the scientific understanding of light can be translated into art. According to UAMA, the exhibition features James Turrell’s “Deep Sky Portfolio,” which explores light through the transformation of the Roden Crater in Northern Arizona.
“Wavelength” is held in conjunction with the museum’s Month of Light, which lasts through the month of October.
Visitors are delighted at the rarities found at the museum.
“I’m surprised at how rarely I’ve seen David Wojnarowicz prints up at museums. Great to see these!” wrote Julie Thompson on her Twitter page.
The museum is located at 1031 N. Olive Rd. near Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard on the UA campus.
Its hours of operation are Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday and on university holidays.
Admission is free for museum members, students with ID, faculty and staff, military personnel, visitors with a SNAP card or Tribal ID, and children under 18. General admission is $8, and admission is $6.50 for seniors 65+ and groups of 10 or more.
While you’re in the museum, please no flash photography, food, drink or tobacco products.
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