Featured Exhibitions

Effie-Cochise Stronghold
January 11 - April 28, 2019

EFFIE! Plein Air Pioneer

This retrospective exhibition will illuminate the career of Effie Anderson Smith (1869-1955), known at the time as "The Dean Of Arizona Women Painters," through historical paintings and artifacts from the entirety of her career culled from private and public collections.

In the midst of the rough and tumble activities of the mining camp at Pearce, lived a young woman who would emerge as Arizona’s first nationally known impressionist landscape painter. For over 55 years, Mrs. A. Y. Smith made her home in Cochise County and painted its desert and mountain vistas. The paintings she created of nearby Cochise Stronghold, the Chiricahua Mountains, Cave Creek, and the Grand Canyon would eventually be seen in exhibits from Phoenix to Philadelphia, and were sought after by politicians and European nobility. Commemorating what would be her 150th birthday year, this exhibition has been made possible by multiple loans from art collectors across the country and the efforts of the Effie Anderson Smith Archive.

"Her exhibit is a reminder that Arizona offers every conceivable artistic problem of light, color, mass, lines and emotion. Especially do Arizona lights test the abilities, for in few places is it so intense, so quickly changing and so suggestive of varying moods. In this phase of work alone Mrs. Smith has established herself as an artist of excellent ability."
-Arizona Daily Star, Bernice Cosulich, January 25, 1927


Desert Hollywood
Celebrity Landscapes in Cinema

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, and behind-the-scenes photography. 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’s Ford’s 1939 Stagecoach or Yuma’s Imperial Sand Dunes portraying desert planet Tatooine in Star Wars IV: A New Hope.​


Permanent Exhibitions


The Weavings of the Diné

A premier collection of pre-1940’s Navajo textiles, including chief’s blankets, optical art, saddle blankets, Yei weavings and child's blankets.


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. 


Upcoming Museum Exhibitions

Opening April, 2019

Sacred Walls: Native American Muralism

Sacred Walls will highlight graffiti and mural art by contemporary Native American artists from throughout Arizona and the southwest, featuring Jaque Fragua, Dwayne Manuel, and others to be announced. 

Museum Exhibits


Weavings of The Dance:
​Early Yei Textiles

This collection of amazing weavings tell us the story of the Navajo healing ceremonies.

TDART-Spider Woman

The Teachings of the Spider Woman

Textiles tell stories. This exhibit helps us to find them in each amazing, uniquely crafted work.


Hopi Artistry

Immerse yourself in a slice of the beautiful arts of the Hopi people.


Cartography of the Americas

Learn about our history through an impressive collection of vintage maps from the great mapmakers of the world. 


Arizona Women Uncovered

Who would have guessed! The history of women’s underwear offers 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. 

Museum Exhibits

2017 - 2018 Exhibitions

2016 - 2017 Exhibitions

2015 - 2016 Exhibitions