MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

favicon

Featured Exhibitions

BP9R2K JOHN WAYNE & JOANNE DRU RED RIVER (1948)
Ongoing

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 its 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.​

September 5 - December 9, 2018

Joseph Labate - The Sawmill Fire

The Sawmill Fire, originating ten miles southeast of Green Valley, AZ started on April 23, 2017. It was a human-caused fire that consumed 470,000 acres of tall grass, cacti and succulents, riparian woodland, mesquite and oak brush, oak woodland, pinyon and juniper. The fire was eventually contained in May, an effort that involved 800 personnel and cost 4.25 million dollars.

I began photographing the landscape of the Sawmill Fire in early July. In that landscape both the destruction of the fire and the recovery from the fire’s damage are visible. The earliest photographs clearly show the extensive damage caused by the fire with just a hint of a recovery beginning. Just a few weeks later, fed by the heavy monsoon rains, green vegetation is abundant, traces of the fire disappearing, recovery (with scar) rapidly progressing.

This continuing photographic project is not intended to tell or illustrate the story of the Sawmill Fire. Rather, it is about a landscape, a landscape for reflection. It is landscape as metaphor.

Joseph Labate
Tucson, AZ


Joseph Labate is a Professor of Art in the School of Art at the University of Arizona and was the Chair of Photography from 1996 until 2014. Labate’s artwork and his teaching focus on the use of digital technology as applied to the medium of photography. Labate has a B.S. in engineering from Clarkson University, a B.F.A. in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and an M.F.A. in photography from the University of Arizona.

Labate is a recipient of a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, an Artist’s Grant from the Contemporary Forum of the Phoenix Art Museum and an Artist’s Grant from Polaroid of Tokyo, Japan. He has exhibited and taught photography nationally and internationally. His work is in many private and public collections.

The Sawmill Fire 3683

Permanent Exhibitions

Eyedazzler
Ongoing

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.

Ongoing

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. 

Tdart-Bierstadt

Upcoming Museum 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."
‐ Bernice Cosulich ‐ Arizona Daily Star ‐ January 25, 1927

Check back here for associated events celebrating woman in the arts.

Museum Exhibits

TDART-Yei

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.

TDART_Hopi

Hopi Artistry

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

TDART-Maps

Cartography of the Americas

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

Tdart-underwear

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