Dear Friends of TMA,
Our accomplished curatorial team, in close collaboration with our collections, community engagement and education staff, thoughtfully rotate the artworks in our permanent collection galleries in an effort to share our exceptional gifts and acquisitions with our visitors. Additionally, the refreshed installations intentionally construct thought-provoking conversations between artworks – an experience that can only be fully appreciated through an in-person visit.
While the constant movement of art objects from down in our “vault” up to our galleries is impressive, it’s also worth noting that TMA’s collections often move much further distances, to other museums across the country, thereby showcasing TMA’s holdings, and our museum, to expanded audiences.
We currently have permanent collection pieces on view at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, TX and the Denver Art Museum in Denver, CO. Over the coming months, we will loan artworks to the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, NM; the Baltimore Museum of Art, in Baltimore, MD; the Seattle Art Museum, in Seattle WA; and then closer to home, at the University of Arizona Museum of Art.
Of course, museum collection loans can be both outgoing and incoming. Our upcoming exhibition, CUMBI: Textiles, Society, and Memory in Andean South America, curated by Dr. Kristopher Driggers and on view from October 14, 2023 – February 25, 2024, will feature several significant works on loan. Artworks from the Carl and Marilynn Thoma and the Arizona State Museum collections as well as Carolina Araníbar-Fernández, artist Carolyn Castaño and Walter Maciel Gallery, Martha Egan and Pachamama Gallery, collectors Paul and Cassandra Hazen, and Perla Segovia will be included in this important exhibition. We sincerely thank them for their participation.
While exhibiting artworks on temporary loan is hardly unusual, a related TMA practice that deserves special recognition is the commitment to proactively engaging in scholarly research and sharing newfound insights about its collection with other museum curators.
For example, in the course of planning the CUMBI exhibition, Dr. Driggers collaborated with a curator at the MFA Boston to further investigate the culture that produced the textiles referred to as Moche-Wari. This research revealed that the ancient textiles in TMA’s collection as well as the MFA Boston’s are fragments that were likely once part of a single tunic divided into multiple pieces, likely sourced from the same Peruvian German art dealer, Guillermo Schmidt-Pizarro, who sold fragments of Andean textiles to a number of museums between the 1930s-50s.
Why does this matter? Considering the fact that a small section of a textile fashioned thousands of years ago still has stories to tell and the power to inspire contemporary artists is significant, since it builds a bridge between past and present and connects art to life, which is TMA’s mission.
As always, thank you for your support!
Jon and Linda Ender Director and CEO
TMA’s mission is to connect art to life through meaningful and engaging experiences that inspire discovery, spark creativity and promote cultural connection