University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson
Last summer on a very hot late June day,I had the privilege of enjoying this fine art museum.I appreciated its fine collection of Late Medieval and Renaissance period paintings with devotional themes from Spain and Italy respectively.I saw fine Spanish paintings by Francesco Gallego,Bartolome Maestro("Creation of Eve"),and Juan de Juanes.I saw fine Italian paintings by Jacopo Dei Casentino,("Madonna and Child Entroned"),Taddeo di Bartolo,Niccolo Di Ser Sozzo Tegliacci ,Zanobi Strozzi,Guidoccio Cozzarelli,and Domenico Tintoretto,among others.I liked its small collection of 20th Century paintings on display,including fine paintings by Arshile Gorky,Georgia O'Keefe,Edward Hopper,and Arthur Dove.it also has a nice selection of creations by sculptor,Jacque Lipchitz..I have been to larger art museums,however I respect this art museum for the quality of its works of art.
Not only did my long-term girlfriend do her bachelors, masters and Ph. D. degrees all at the University of Arizona, but I worked here two years in, of all places, the parking department. While working there, I looked at a lot of maps. Seriously, more maps than you can imagine. Maps for lot closure notices, maps for tailgate parking, maps for shuttle routes, maps for shuttle service areas, layout maps for parking garages... Lots and lots of maps. As a result of this map overload, I have a rare knowledge of the external (i.e. - not inside the buildings) layout of the university campus area.
For parking tips, check my "UA Parking" transportation tip.
There are five museums on the University of Arizona campus, two of which are completely free and four of which are strangely right next to each other:
1. University of Arizona Art Museum (free): Downstairs is usually a more modern and more temporary exhibit, utilizing various media and often reflecting school projects. The upstairs is almost solely classical art displaying a rather impressive collection. Just north of 2nd Street east of Park Ave. Park on 2nd Street (meters) or at the Park Avenue garage.
2. Center for Creative Photography (free): Exhibits rotate about every 2-3 months. This is one of the better photography museums I've seen. Just north of 2nd Street east of Park Ave (across from the UA Art Museum).
3. Arizona State Museum: Attempts to cover the vastness of Arizona culture and history. Many Native American artifacts and artwork and, to me, that's the main attraction here. On University Blvd. east of Park Avenue. Park on University or 2nd (meters), or at the Main Gate garage.
4. Arizona History Museum: Much more focused on more contemporary history (19th and 20th centuries) than on the ancient and pre-colonial, although they do have some exhibits of the latter. At the northwest corner of 2nd Street (the west side of it) and Park Avenue.
5. Flandrau Science Center: Includes a planetarium, science and space exhibits, as well as a mineral museum (formerly its own entity). Periodic stargazing and other astronomy education events occur throughout the year. At the northeast corner of Cherry Avenue and University Blvd.
- The Main Library: The library is open to all although only those affiliated with the university can check out books. Plenty of places to sit in the cavernous maze of shelves on various floors typical of large university libraries. Impressive collection of rare University of Arizona Press books, which mostly cover the subjects related to the Southwest.
- Lectures and Events: Check UA's calendar site (http://calendar.arizona.edu/) as many on-campus lectures and events are open to the public.
- There is a small, shaded pond with turtles and coy just above Park Avenue between James E. Rogers Way (North Campus Way) and Second Street. It's a great place to sit.
- There is a relatively famous orange grove on the south side of Second Street between Gila and Maricopa Halls.
- "Old Main" is the iconic, original building on campus. There are a number of labeled, local plant species on its perimeter as well as a fountain on its west side. It's located just southwest of the Student Union where University Blvd. separates and vehicle traffic stops.
- There is a rose garden on the east side of the Nugent Building, south of the Student Union. March and April would be the best time to visit this.
Another fine place to visit is the University of Arizona Museum of Art. They have some fine examples of paintings, prints, and sculpture spanning seven centuries from the medieval to the contemporary. The changing exhibitions include well known and emerging artists. When I visited, unfortunately, the room with the older art was closed. Admission is free. Hours are 9AM to 5PM Tuesday through Friday, and 12PM to 4PM Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays.
This is a free art exhibit attached to a university, yet this exhibit is quite extensive. There were works from the 1300s up to modern times. These included more than 50 Eurpean paintings from the Renaissance through the 17th century. Some of the more modern day artists were quite famous, such as Salvadore Dali, Auguste Rodin, Andrew Wyeth, Andy Whorhol, Jackson Polack (born in my home town of Cody, WY!), Zuniga, O’Keffe, and a wonderful exhibit of sculptures by Jacques Lipchitz. I especially enjoyed the Lipchitz sculptures, with a whole room, beautifully lit and laid out displaying “sketches”, which are actually small pre-sculptures or models, and studies done for final pieces of work. There were also a few finished pieces on display throughout the museum. I would allow at least 1 hour to view this free museum, and if you live art, it is well worth the time. From late August to Mid-May this museum is open Mon. to Friday 9 to 5, Sunday noon to 4. The rest of the year it is open Monday to Friday 9 to 3, Sunday Noon to 4. Closed major holidays.