DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Historic District is the artistic manifestation and architecture constructed by Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia. The property is a series of buildings scattered throughout a 10-acre natural desert setting. Built in Tucson near the intersection of Swan Road and Skyline the property is now a museum open to the public.


  • Entrance to Gallery of the Sun
    Entrance to Gallery of the Sun
  • Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia
    Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia
  • DeGrazia’s Mission in the Sun, built 1952
    DeGrazia’s Mission in the Sun, built 1952
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe altar
    Our Lady of Guadalupe altar
  • Rotating Exhibitions in the Lower Gallery
    Rotating Exhibitions in the Lower Gallery
  • DeGrazia’s Sketch of the Gallery in the Sun
    DeGrazia’s Sketch of the Gallery in the Sun

By the late 1940s, the city of Tucson began encroaching on DeGrazia's gallery. He felt cramped with so many people moving to Tucson and he wanted to escape its growth. In 1949, he and his wife Marion bought 10 acres of isolated property in the Santa Catalina Foothills, north of Tucson. It has stunning mountain views and rolling terrain filled with colorful cactus and desert vegetation.

What started as a small construction project for a new gallery space developed into a 10-acre artistic refuge. Proof of DeGrazia’s artistic vision is scattered around the desert; from the arches with flowers made of recycled cans, to the Yaqui Deer Dancer sculpture in the courtyard.

Construction began in 1951 with the open air Mission in the Sun followed by a series of other expressionistic adobe buildings. Construction was aided by his Yaqui and Tohono O'odham friends. The gallery/museum was completed in 1965 with details like cactus flooring, exposed wood beams, rafters and unique artistic finishes. This main gallery houses thirteen separate galleries of original artwork.

The only way for DeGrazia to avoid a huge amount of government taxation was for him to turn his Gallery In the Sun into a non-profit foundation. In this way he was able to keep his collection and his fortune intact. DeGrazia died of cancer on September 17, 1982 at the age of 73. His beloved Gallery In the Sun was listed on the National Historic Registry as a Historic District in 2006.(1)

1. "DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun," Official Website, accessed November 13, 2016.
http://degrazia.org/
2. "Gallery Tours," Gallery website, accessed November 13, 2016.
http://degrazia.org/visit-gallery/tours/
3. "Exhibitions," Gallery website, accessed November 13, 2016.
http://degrazia.org/exhibitions/
4. "Education," Gallery website, accessed November 13, 2016.
http://degrazia.org/education/
5. "Events," includes annual La Fiesta de Guadalupe, Gallery website, accessed November 13, 2016.
http://degrazia.org/events/
6. "Brief bio of DeGrazia," Gallery website, accessed November 13, 2016.
http://degrazia.org/about-degrazia/bio/
7. "National Register of Historic Places- Registration Form," The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Historic District, accessed November 13, 2016.
http://npgallery.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Text/06000932.pdf
8. "Shop Online," Gallery website, accessed November 13, 2016.
http://degrazia.org/shop/
9. "Facebook Page," DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, accessed November 14, 2016.
https://www.facebook.com/DeGraziaGalleryInTheSun/?ref=ts&fref=ts
10. "DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Historic District," Wikipedia Entry, accessed November 14, 2016.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeGrazia_Gallery_in_the_Sun_Historic_District
11. "Ettore DeGrazia," Wikipedia Entry, accessed November 14, 2016.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettore_DeGrazia
12. "Video," Southern Arizona Attractions Alliance on YouTube, 35 secs., accessed November 14, 2016.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vLHaLy8AbTk