Renovation & Expansion

Why Renovate?
TMA is a leading cultural institution in Southern Arizona.

In June of 2017, the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block embarked upon an ambitious renovation project and new programmatic structure that attests to the museum’s position as a leading cultural institution in Southern Arizona. Together, we make OUR MUSEUM exceptional.

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block has not had a major renovation in over 15 years. The museum welcomes over 100,000 visitors each year and has held some of Tucson’s most iconic and important exhibitions including: Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History 1955-Present, Ansel Adams: A Legacy, Han and Beyond: The Renaissance of China from the James Conley Collection, A Place of Refuge: Maynard Dixon’s Arizona, Deborah Butterfield: Sculptures, and The Figure Examined: Masterworks from the Kasser Mochary Art Foundation.

In 1967, TMA started a permanent collection which now exceeds 9,000 objects. The Museum collects in the areas of Modern and Contemporary art, Latin American, Western, Native American and Asian art, and Folk Art of the Americas. The Collection is housed in a vault on TMA’s campus and is nearing capacity.

TMA’s four-acre campus includes five historic proprieties, a sculpture park, and a 22,000 square foot education center, auditorium, and library; providing a rich assortment of programs for all ages. TMALearn, the museum’s education department, serves over 35,000 children and adults annually, at the museum and off-site locations throughout Southern Arizona.

Each year, TMA offers over 125 lectures, programs, workshops, and events including two artisans markets, El Nacimiento, and Tucson’s longest running summer arts camp.

All of this activity and history has stretched the institution’s ability to meet our vision of presenting a Museum of the 21st Century. Demand for dedicated galleries for the growing collection, need for expanded feature exhibition galleries, and the public’s interest in event-driven programming challenges the museum’s current capacity. Additionally, new chillers to an existing and aging HVAC unit is in desperate need of an upgrade, as well as, new LED lamping in the public areas for energy savings.

To ensure TMA can meet the needs of the institution, our donors, and the community, TMA must renovate and reimagine our museum. Led by CEO Jeremy Mikolajczak, and under the guidance of TMA’s Board of Trustees, the museum is undertaking a multi-phased capital campaign renovation project that will increase the museum’s capacity to exhibit its permanent collection, support blockbuster exhibitions, and expand access to the region’s oldest and largest visual arts institution.

Together, we make OUR MUSEUM exceptional.

TMA/100: A Vision for the 21st Century

TMA/100: A vision for the 21st century is TMA’s new capital campaign that reflects the museum’s belief that a community deserves access to exceptional exhibitions and education programs that share our passion for art, culture, and history of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Launched in the fall of 2016, Phase I of the multi-phased campaign nears completion and to date has raised $1.3 million dollars.

“We believe TMA/100: A vision for the 21st century campaign reflects our vision for TMA to serve as a leading 21st century regional museum and our commitment to those who share our passion for art, culture, and history of the Southwest. The campaign is a responsible and sustainable investment in the museum that increases access to exhibitions and educational programs and promotes the core of the museum’s vision of Discover. Experience.”

Jeremy MikolajczakChief Executive Officer

Phase I:

  • Launched Fall 2016; 90% complete.
  • Two Main Objectives: Ambitious renovation to existing museum properties, new programmatic structure focusing on permanent art collection and community education initiatives.
  • Physical investment in the galleries, museum campus, historic properties, and Museum Store.
  • Assessment and installation of TMA’s Permanent Art Collection in dedicated galleries.
  • Expanded approach to public education.
  • Establish a funding source that includes short-term investment and positive change at the museum while ensuring long-term financial stability.
  • Phase II will launch January 2018.
  • For more information about naming opportunities or supporting the TMA/100 campaign, please contact Chief Development Officer Alba Rojas-Sukkar at (520) 616-2694 or

Renovation Details

List of all major improvements related to the project:

  • New Feature Exhibition Gallery, Asian Art Gallery, European Art Gallery, Folk Art Masks Gallery, Historic Nye/Fish House Exhibition.
  • New and expanded location for the Museum Store and TMALearn’s Creative Space.
  • Two admission entrances to the museum.
  • All new floors, walls, paint, and millwork in the Main Building exhibition galleries.
  • External repairs and renovation of the Goodman Pavilion, Stevens/Duffield House (Café Ala Cart), and the Nye/Fish House.
  • New casework for the display of TMA’s permanent art collection.
  • Renovation of the Moore Courtyard into an enclosed sculpture garden highlighting works from the American West.

Project Timeline


June 1

Goodman Pavilion closes for renovations.

June 5

Museum Store closes for relocation; temporary admissions kiosk to be located in the main lobby.

June 9

La Casa Cordova opens with new exhibition and public hours.

June 12

New HVAC units for Education Center and Administrative Offices.

June 19

External repairs to TMA’s Historic Properties commence.


July 9

Last day to view current exhibitions.

July 10

Main Building and Moore Courtyard close for renovations.

July 11 – October 13

Historic Properties open for normal public hours; TMA is admission free.


Museum grounds renovation commence; Main Building and Goodman Pavilion closed for renovation.


Museum grounds renovation commence; Main Building and Goodman Pavilion closed for renovation.


Main Building, Lobby, and Moore Courtyard closed for renovations, exhibitions installed.

October 5

Inauguration and re-opening of the Goodman Pavilion including the Museum Store, TMALearn’s Creative Space, Von Galen Gallery of Art of the American West, Gallery dedicated to the work of Olaf Wieghorst, and the History of the Nye/Fish House Exhibition.

Main Building, Lobby, and Moore Courtyard closed for renovations.

October 20

Ribbon Cutting Celebration and Preview for TMA Members and VIP Guests, opening of the Main Museum Building and feature exhibitions: Dress Matters. Clothing as Metaphor; and Desert Dweller, the independent spirit of Southern Arizona fashion and design.

October 21 & 22

Community Celebration and Open House; the Museum will be Admission-free for the weekend, inviting all members of the community to experience the new TMA.

Highlighting TMA’s Collection and Vision: The Galleries

In the summer of 2016, a masterplan was established for the configuration of a new Feature Exhibition Gallery, major reinstallation of TMA’s extensive permanent collection, and new galleries dedicated to TMA’s Historic Block. 20 distinct galleries were established, identifying the museums needs and aligning them with the vision for TMA. Each gallery is devoted to the strengths of TMA’s mission and collection including Art of the American West, Folk Art of the Americas, Asian Art, European Art, Works on Paper, Photography, Folk Art Masks, Southwest Artists, and Modern and Contemporary Art.

Feature/Temporary Exhibition Galleries

James J. and Louise R. Glasser Gallery – TMA’s new premiere gallery for feature exhibitions.

Louis C. Green Gallery – Temporary exhibition gallery dedicated to regional projects and new acquisitions.

Collection Galleries

Frank and Jean Hamilton Gallery of Art of the American West – TMA’s largest permanent collection gallery dedicated to the museum’s expansive Western Art Collection.

Contemporary Art Society/Joyce Broan Gallery of Contemporary Art – Dedicated permanent collection gallery housing TMA’s growing Contemporary Art Collection.

Palice Gallery of European Art – a new Gallery focusing on TMA’s small and impressive European Art Collection.

Jon and Linda Ender Gallery – a new Gallery dedicated to the museum’s extensive small works and works on paper from the Permanent Art Collection.

Mary Jo Brown Gallery – formally known as “The Well,” the Mary Jo Brown Gallery will feature Modern Masters on long-term loan from the prestigious Kasser Mochary Foundation.

Burt and Brenda Lazar Gallery – named in honor of longtime TMA patron, Burt Lazar, the Lazar Gallery is dedicated to the presentation of masks from the Folk Art of the America’s collection.

Sandra and Robert Maxfield Gallery – a new Southwest-focused gallery, featuring an interplay of works from the permanent collection derived from historic, modern and contemporary artists from the Southwestern United States.

Stonewall Foundation Gallery – the Stonewall Gallery will transition into a dedicated gallery for the exhibition of TMA’s extensive Folk Art of the America’s collection.

Bernard and Jeanette Schmidt Gallery – Gallery dedicated to the TMA’s Native American Collection and related works.

Asian Art Gallery – a new gallery dedicated to historic works in TMA’s Asian Art Collection.

Kenneth J. and Judith H. Riskind/
Patricia Carr Morgan and Peter F. Salomon Gallery – Gallery dedicated to the presentation of TMA’s Photography Collection.

Kaye Cauthorn/Berger Hanft Gallery – A dedicated gallery for the exhibition of TMA’s Modern Art Collection.

Palice Pavilion of Latin American Art – Located on the 2nd floor of TMA’s Main Building, the Palice Pavilion showcases an extensive collection of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art.

Count Ferdinand von Galen Gallery in the John K. Goodman Pavilion – housed within the John K. “Jack” Goodman Pavilion, the von Galen Gallery will focus on Art of the American West from TMA’s Permanent Art Collection.

Founders Gallery in the John K. Goodman Pavilion – a new gallery housed in the John K. “Jack” Goodman Pavilion, dedicated to the presentation of Art of the American West from the museum’s Permanent Art Collection.

History Galleries

Edward Nye/Fish Exhibition in the John K. Goodman Pavilion – small historic exhibition dedicated to TMA’s Historic Block and the Fish House. Built in 1868 by Edward Nye Fish, an enthusiastic and enterprising man who had made his name and fortune in California before coming to Tucson, was one of the first Tucson homes to have wooden floors and served as the center of social life. Many people were entertained at the Fish House, including President and Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes and Governor Safford.

La Casa Cordova Exhibition – La Casa Cordova and the surrounding El Presidio Historic District, once known as La Calle, offer a lens through which to view Tucson’s past and how the area has changed over the course of more than a century. This historic structure and exhibition gallery exemplify changes in Tucson’s urban environment from the 1860s to the present.

Main Avenue Corridor

For years, TMA’s main address has been 140 North Main Avenue, even though the “main lobby” and admissions desk has always been tucked away off Alameda Street. Beginning this October, TMA will now have two entrances and admissions desk; the former main lobby, also known as the Margaret E. Mooney Hall, and a new admissions desk, visitor’s center, and galleries located at 140 North Main Avenue.

Main Avenue has always been a hub of activity for Tucson historically and today. A grand boulevard leading into the El Presidio Neighborhood also known as “Snob Hollow” of the 1920s, many of its residents have shaped the city we know today. In planning for the future of TMA, it was important to the museum, whose three of its five historic properties sit along Main Avenue, to restore a flurry of activity to this important avenue. In addition to the Museum’s award-winning café, Café a’la C’Art, the Goodman Pavilion will become a visitor-centric services center, housing admissions and the Museum Store, three exhibition galleries, and TMALearn’s community arts center – Creative Space.


Will you still have programming while the galleries are closed?

TMA will remain open during the renovation process; Admission-free from July 11 – October 13. The Historic Properties will remain open all summer long with daily tours lead by TMALearn Docents.

When will the main museum reopen?

TMA will reopen to the public on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Will you still have family programming while the galleries are closed?

TMA’s popular First Thursdays and Second SundAZe presented by the Stonewall Foundation will go on as scheduled. Check the website for program specifics and location on TMA’s 4-acre campus.

Will the Café be open?

Café a la C’Art will be open for normal business/summer hours.

What will happen with Cinema la Placita?

Cinema La Placita will continue all summer long every Thursday evening. TMA will continue to provide a cash-bar and Café a la C’Art will remain open.

Where will the art go while the galleries are closed?

All the art will currently in the galleries will be stored in the museums climate-controlled vault.

Who is the Architect and Construction Company?

Project Architect:

Andy Anderson – Richard “Andy” Anderson is the owner of Andy Anderson L.L.C. and a longstanding member of TMA’s Board of Trustees. A principal architect of the Tucson architecture firm founded by William Wilde, Andy Anderson designed TMA’s iconic building that opened on May 1, 1975. Reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Tucson museum’s main galleries are arranged as an open downward spiral around a “well” at the center that connects the levels and ramps.

Project Construction:

Kittle Design and Construction – Founded in 2001, in Tucson – Arizona, Kittle Design and Construction is a company that brings experience and quality to commercial construction. They are no stranger to the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, completing the renovations and installation of the Palice Pavilion of Latin American Art, located on the second floor of the main building.

Historic Properties Renovation:

Oden Construction – Oden Construction, Inc. is a self-performing general contractor specializing in historic preservation, custom homes, and small commercial and government construction. Randy Oden is the owner and founder with over 41 years of experience in the industry. Oden Construction is the premier historic preservation specialist in the southwest.

How can I stay connected to TMA when the building is closed for the forthcoming renovation and expansion?

The best way to stay connected is via our weekly e-blast, TMa-list.

Where can I find more information about the expansion project?

For more information, contact the museum at 520-884-9865.