Due to the generosity of donors such as Frederick Pleasants, Lee and Pam Parry, and Lotte Reyersbach, among others, the Tucson Museum of Art Research Library contains a number of important and rare books.

From Frederick Pleasants, Curator of Primitive Art at The Brooklyn Museum from 1949 to 1956, the library has examples of very early research on Native American, African, and pre-Columbian art, as well as numerous facsimiles of pre-Columbian codices. From art historians Lee and Pam Parry, the library has an unusually rich selection of books on 18th and 19th century American art, especially in the area of landscape and portrait painting.

Here is a selection from the collection:

Early books

  • The Artist’s Repository; or, Encyclopedia of Fine Arts (1808)
  • Anecdotes of Painters, Who Have Resided or Been Born in England, by Edward Edwards (1808)

Pre-Columbian art and archaeology

  • Incidents of travel in Yucatan, by John L. Stephens (1843)
  • Codice Borbónico: manuscrito mexicano de la biblioteca del palais bourbon (1980 facsimile)
  • The Necropolis of Ancon in Peru, by Wilhelm Reiss (1880)

Mexican art

  • México a través de los siglos: Historia general y completa del desenvolvimiento social, político, religioso, militar, artístico, científico y literario de México desde la antigüedad más remota hasta la época actual (1878)
  • Monografía: las obras de José Guadalupe Posada, grabador mexicano, with introduction by Diego Rivera (1930)
  • Mural painting of the Mexican Revolution, 1921-1960 (1960)

Nineteenth-century European and American art

  • Il Canal grande di Venezia, text by Antonio Quadri and engravings by Dionisio Moretti (1838)
  • Gerome; a collection of the works of J.L. Gerome in one hundred photogravures, edited by Edward Strahan (1881).


Interested in Donating Art?

The Tucson Museum of Art welcomes and encourages mission relevant art donations to the permanent collection. Prior to acceptance, all gifts of art are vetted by the curatorial department and formally approved by the Collections Committee which meets quarterly. Please call 520-624-2333 for more information.

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