Mission & History

Connecting Art to Life

Mission

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block connects art to life through meaningful and engaging experiences that inspire discovery, spark creativity and promote cultural understanding.

Vision

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, a regional museum and center for artistic inquiry and appreciation, seeks to inspire dynamic human experiences, create a passion for the visual arts and celebrate Southern Arizona’s rich and diverse culture.

Core Values

Guiding our actions, decisions, and impacts are eight core values. These values drive the mission and vision and serve as the bedrock of our work at TMA.

Core values represent the lens through which all decisions and activities are viewed and considered. The Tucson Museum of Art is committed to the following core values.

  • Affirm the importance and primacy of the art and artists that are the bedrock of its mission and that provide the inspiration for rewarding community relationships.
  • Hold in public trust significant works representing the core collecting areas of Latin American Art, Art of the American West and Modern and Contemporary Art.
  • Provide quality arts education for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
  • Serve as Tucson and Southern Arizona’s preeminent center for vital, transformative visual art and cultural experiences.
  • Ensure that a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and access is represented in the museum’s collection, exhibitions and educational programs and among members of the board, staff and all volunteer groups.
  • Serve as an incubator of ideas that link the museum’s broad, diverse collection and its historical resources with the life of the community.
  • Serve as a cultural cornerstone for economic development.
  • Foster a culture of financial and structural sustainability to ensure the museum’s viability for future generations.

Land Acknowledgement

As an institution built upon the original territories of the O’odham, the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block acknowledges the Indigenous Sonoran Desert communities, past and present, who have stewarded this region throughout generations.

History

First established in 1924 as the Tucson Fine Arts Association, the Museum made its home in the Kingan House on Franklin Street in the El Presidio Historic District. In 1954 the association was officially renamed the Tucson Art Center to establish our exhibition and education mission.

In 1975 the Tucson Art Center moved to its present location and became the caretaker of five historic properties–La Casa Cordova, Romero House, Edward Nye Fish House, Stevens/Duffield House and the J. Knox Corbett House – and our name was changed to the Tucson Museum of Art to reflect our collecting activities.

Today the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block encompasses an entire city block in historic downtown, and features original and traveling exhibitions focusing on Art of Latin America, Art of the American West, Modern and Contemporary Art and Asian Art as well as tours, education programs, studio art classes, and a Museum Store to delight and educate visitors. The Tucson Museum of Art serves the city and surrounding regions and is committed to broadening public access to the arts, enriching daily life.

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