Colors to Dye For


Colors to Dye For explores the mysterious industry of dye-making. The beautiful southwestern palette created in early Navajo textiles was produced through a variety of materials found in nature. This exhibition takes a close look at the history of indigo and red. Why was indigo referred to as a “color of the devil,” and how did a beetle from the Sonoran desert change the history of red? Come see the fascinating transformation of how wool is made into yarn and yarn is turned into beautiful textiles.

​​​​The Dawn of American Landscape


Masterpieces by the preeminent Nineteenth century landscape painters. Works by Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and other master artists. 

Arizona Women Uncovered


Who would have guessed! The history of women’s whites offer us unique insight into the arts and lifestyle of our early pioneer women. Joint Curation with Claudine Villardito of Black Cat Vintage and Tucson Desert Art Museum. 

​​True Grit – Arizona Women of Determination


Who were the first women in Southern Arizona? Why did they come here? Southern Arizona’s pioneer women are remembered in a collection of historical photographs. ​

Vaquero and Charro: An Enduring Legacy
Photographs by Cody Edison and Artifacts from the Arizona Historical Society

December 8 - June 30, 2018

Vaquero and Charro: An Enduring Legacy, Photographs by Cody Edison and Artifacts from the Arizona Historical Society will explore the impact that Spanish traditions have had on Western horsemanship. Many customs, words, and traditions associated with the American West originated with the Vaqueros and Charros of Mexico. This legacy is presented through contemporary photographs of the Charros and Vaqueros of Southern California by Cody Edison and by historic artifacts dating to the mid 19th Century culled from the Arizona Historical Society. This exhibition is supported by a grant from the Arizona Humanities.

Desert Hollywood: Celebrity Landscapes in Cinema

January 12 - June 30, 2018

Desert Hollywood explores the “celebrity careers” of prominent Southwestern landscapes in film and television. More than mere backdrops, these landscapes including Monument Valley, the Imperial Sand Dunes, Lake Powell, the Moab area and the Sonoran Desert surrounding Tucson have become familiar, even iconic, through their supporting roles in film. Featuring video clips, stills, behind-the-scenes photography as well as works from renowned photographer Cindy Bernard, an interactive installation from Dustin Shores and Eric Wilson, and vintage movie posters from the Loft Cinema. This exhibition explores how these landscapes have starred in a variety of genres from westerns to sci-fi, whether it's Monument Valley portraying central Arizona in John Ford’s 1939 Stagecoach or Yuma’s Imperial Sand Dunes portraying desert planet Tatooine in Star Wars IV: A New Hope.​

Celebrity Landscapes Lecture Series

February 24, 2018, 1:30 pm

Join us for a talk from film authorities Dr. Jennifer Jenkins and Dr. Amy Fatzinger from the University of Arizona with moderator Dr. Gavin A Healey. This lecture is included with Museum admission. 

​Desert Drive-in with Loft Cinema - Rio Bravo!

March 10, 2018, 7:00 pm

A fun filled evening of outdoor movie watching will take place in the Museum's east parking lot at the corner of Tanque Verde and Sabino Canyon Roads behind Chase Bank. This "Desert Drive-in" sponsored by The Loft Cinema will screen the movie "Rio Bravo." The Museum exhibition, "Desert Hollywood: Celebrity Landscapes in Cinema" will be open that evening during the movie at a reduced charge of $5.00/person.  Bring chairs or a blanket for a comfortable viewing...or sit in your car!