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Take a journey through art, history, and culture at the Tucson Museum of Art (TMA). The Museum features changing exhibitions of Art of the American West, Latin America, and Modern and Contemporary art forms, with a permanent collection of more than 9,000 objects. TMA offers ongoing educational programs for children, families, and adults through summer arts programs, lectures, and art-making activities. The annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration is a Tucson tradition. The Museum campus includes four historic adobe properties and a restored Craftsman home (check tour hours on the Museum website).

  • The Tucson Museum of Art was founded in 1924.
  • The museum's collection is comprised of American Art, Art of the American West, Latin American art, Folk Art of the Americas, and Modern and Contemporary art.
  • The museum presents changing exhibitions in addition to its permanent exhibits.
  • Then and Now. The J. Knox Corbett House in the Historic Block. Tours available through the museum.
  • Map of Historic Block.  
The unlabeled building in the upper left is the J. Knox Corbett House.
Founded March 20, 1924 in the Presidio District of downtown Tucson, Arizona as the Tucson Fine Arts Association (TFAA), the museum was created by members of the Tucson Women's Club and 50 other Tucsonans. TFAA was initially a gallery and monthly lecture space. After the inauguration of the new Scott Avenue Temple of Music and Art in October 1927, the group relocated to the upstairs Temple Gallery. Exhibitions expanded and in 1941 TFAA presented Southwestern Oils, featuring works and a lecture series given by noted artist Maynard Dixon.

In 1947 artists and craftspeople presented A New Look at Art, the city's first non-juried exhibition of local artists, which drew 7,412 visitors. The Craft Show was introduced in 1950, which became the Arizona Biennial, now the longest-running statewide biennial art exhibition in the state. In 1967 the organization that would become the Tucson Museum of Art started a permanent collection based on several major donations.

Designed by Andy Anderson, a principal architect of the Tucson architecture firm founded by William Wilde, the main Museum was opened May 1, 1975 with the inaugural exhibition, Tucson Collects, which included loaned works from 43 personal collections of Tucsonans. The museum drew 50,000 visitors in its first year. Reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Tucson Museum's main galleries are arranged as an open downward spiral around a "well" at the center that connects the levels and ramps.

The Museum's permanent collection includes more than 8,000 objects in the areas of modern and contemporary art, Latin American, Western and Native American, and Asian art. The Latin America collection includes pre-Columbian art produced by Native Americans prior to the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century. 
The Museum began to collect modern art in the early 1970s with a donation of ninety-two objects from the Lawrence J. Heller collection of European and American modernists. The Art of the American West Collection was established in the 1980s with a donation by Ileen B. and Samuel J. Campbell. The collection spans 200 years.

*Historic Block 

It includes five houses built between the mid-1850s to 1907 surrounding the modern museum building that houses most of the galleries.

The J. Knox Corbett House, completed in 1907, is a mission-revival style two-story home restored and furnished with period pieces from the American Arts and Crafts era. It is open by appointment only or for public tours on Wednesday mornings at 11:00 am from October through April.

La Casa Cordova, one of the oldest buildings in Tucson, is home to the seasonal exhibition El Nacimiento. It is an excellent example of a Sonoran row house that was a popular building style in the late 19th century. The rooms of La Casa Cordova, including El Nacimiento, are open November – March only. The courtyard is open year round.

The Edward Nye Fish House, known as the John K. Goodman Pavilion of Western Art, also dates from the late 1800s and is home to the Art of the American West collection.

The Romero House, believed to have been built in 1860, has undergone numerous alterations and is now home to the Tucson Museum of Art’s ceramics studio offering studio art classes to both children and adults.

The Stevens/Huffield House, also known as the Palace Pavilion, dates back to the late 1800s and houses the Art of Latin America collection of pre-Columbian, Mexican folk art, and colonial works.(10)

*Records for buildings on the historic block are housed in the Research Library, and open to the public during regular library hours.
1. "Tucson Museum of Art & Historic Block, Official Website, accessed November 18, 2016.

2. "Visitor Information," museum website, accessed November 18, 2016.

3. "Exhibitions," museum website, accessed November 18, 2016.

4. "Calendar of Events," museum website, accessed November 18, 2016.

5. "K-12 Schools & Educators," museum website, accessed November 18, 2016.

6. "Lectures, Tours & More," museum website, accessed November 18, 2016.

7. "Research Library," museum website, accessed November 18, 2016.
(Hours: Tues.-Thurs.10-3, First Sundays by appt.)

8. "Search Our Collection," museum website, accessed November 18, 2016.

9. "Mission and History," museum website, accessed November 18, 2016.

10. "Historic Block," museum website, accessed November 18, 2016.

11. "Tucson Art Museum," Southern Arizona Attractions Alliance website,

12. "El Presidio Historic District," NPS website, American Southwest: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary, accessed November 18, 2016.

13. "Tucson Art Museum video," from Southern Arizona Attractions Alliance, 45 secs., accessed November 18, 2016.