The Dazzled Eye: Navajo Textiles from the Getzwiller Collection


January 13 - May 28, 2017

Featuring Navajo eyedazzlers and optical textiles from world renowned collectors Steve and Gail Getzwiller, The Dazzled Eye contrasts these works of woven art with American Op Art and explores the popularity and history of Navajo eyedazzlers and optical textiles.

The Wayfinder's Dilemma: Landscape Photographs by Camden Hardy

May 3 - October 1, 2017


A faculty member at Southwest University of Visual Arts, Hardy explores the ways in which human beings interact with, and understand, their surroundings. On his work, Mr. Hardy states; "My artistic practice is driven by questions about the dissonance that occurs when we encounter information that contradicts our expectations, as well as our own agency in the construction of individual realities."  

On November 5, the Tucson Desert Art Museum opened three related exhibitions on the removal and incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  President Roosevelt 's signing of Executive Order 9066 (February 19, 1942), authorized the government to forcibly exclude all people of Japanese ancestry from designated military areas along the west coast. Nearly 120,000 people, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, were removed and detained in government facilities scattered across the U.S. The three exhibitions are:

Hayward, California. Members of the Mochida family awaiting evacuation bus. Photographer:  Dorothea Lange, May 8,1942.

Tokutaro “Kakunen” Tsuruoka

Untitled, Industry in the Desert

Watercolor on Paper, 1944

Past Exhibitions 2017

The Wayfinder's Perspective: Landscape Paintings from the Permanent Collection

May 3 - October 1, 2017

This exhibition features contemporary landscape paintings culled from the Museum’s permanent collection. Guest curated by exhibiting artist Camden Hardy, the selection of paintings highlight the Southwest desert as a rich and varied subject matter for a diverse group of artists.

​​​​Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit: Triumphing over Adversity. Japanese American WWII Incarceration Reflections, Then and Now


November 5, 2016 - April 30, 2017


​GAMBATTE! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit is the first body of work devoted to capturing the past and the present of Executive Order 9066 through photographs and oral histories. Through the juxtaposition of historic images and contemporary portraits of the same individuals or their descendants, Kitagaki takes us on a visual exploration of the Japanese concept of Gambatte, or triumph over adversity.





Behind Barbed Wire: Japanese American Incarceration in Arizona


November 5, 2016 - April 30, 2017


This exhibition examines the federal internment facilities in Arizona, it also includes photos and details of the Japanese American men and  women who served during WWII. 










Art of Circumstance: Art and Artifacts Created by Japanese Americans Incarcerated During WWII


November 5, 2016 - April 30, 2017


Art of Circumstance displays the inventive and creative spirit of the Japanese Americans incarcerated in relocation camps across the Southwest during World War II. The art and artifacts displayed in Art of Circumstance include objects on loan from the Arizona Heritage Center, Arizona Historical Society in Tempe, Arizona.

A little evacuee of Japanese descent gets a ride on her brother's shoulders at a War Relocation Authority center where they are spending the duration. Photographer: Stewart Frances