The Tucson Museum of Art houses a number of collections and exhibits, focusing on the art of Latin America and the American West as well as contemporary and modern art collections. Located in downtown Tucson and encompassing an entire city block, the museum aims to teach and inspire visitors through its numerous displays.
The museum dates back to 1924, when it was founded as the Tucson Fine Arts Association and housed in the historic Kingan House. Since then it's undergone numerous name changes and has been subject to new ideas and improvements, and in 1975 it moved to its present location. Now occupying 5 historic houses as well as the main museum building in downtown Tucson, and having been re-named the Tucson Museum of Art, it serves to educate all visitors and aims to broaden people's artistic and cultural horizons.
There are a number of both static and temporary exhibitions throughout the museum, showcasing art from as long ago as 3,000 BC to the present day. The permanent collection has amounted to over 7,000 pieces, acquired through some 25 years of collecting. Pieces include those from American West artists and from the pre-Columbian, colonial and post-colonial periods of Spanish and Mexican history, as well as 20th century modern art collections also taking pride of place.
The historic block location is worth the trip in itself, with the five houses being some of the oldest in Tucson. Visitors can even look at records of the buildings in the Research Library, also housed in the museum, to get even more of an insight into their history.
The museum is also home to an Education Department, offering lectures, courses and programs for all ages that run throughout the year. The calendar is constantly being updated with events and lectures that may be of interest, so it's well worth while to check back regularly to not miss out on anything.
There's an on-site caf, serving salads, sandwiches and desserts which is open weekdays from 11am to 3pm. The Museum Store sells more than the usual gift shop fare, with artwork and handmade crafts from the best local artists all being on sale.
Admission is $8 for general admission, $6 for seniors and $3 for students. However, it's free to children aged 12 and under and to members of the museum, and on the first Sunday of every month it's free to everyone. The museum is open throughout the year from Tuesdays to Sundays, but is closed on Mondays and all major public holidays. Opening times are 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday and 12pm to 4pm on Sundays.
The Tuscan Museum of Art is a must for anyone with an interest in art and its history, and even for people who want to see the unique location and historic buildings that it resides in. Ideally located and easily accessible from anywhere in the area, a visit is definitely recommended by travelers.