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Any publication or commercial use of images from the University of Arizona Museum of Art’s collections requires written, prior consent from the museum. The museum asks that those interested in obtaining an application for reproduction permission and a schedule of fees should contact the Registrar’s Office in writing. For more information, please visit their Rights and Reproductions page.
The Nature Of The Theft
The coveted painting was stolen on the day after Thanksgiving in 1985. Given that about 80 percent of U.S. museum thefts reported to the National Stolen Art File are committed internally by staff or those in a position of trust, and that art is most often stolen from storage areas rather than exhibitions, the nature of the theft was truly extraordinary.
At approximately 9 a.m., a security officer opened the front door of the museum to let a staff member into the lobby. Two visitors a man and a woman followed inside.
The man wandered up to the second floor while the woman chatted with a security guard. The man spent just under 10 minutes on the second floor, cutting “Woman-Ochre” out of its wood frame with a sharp blade. Leaving remnants of the painting’s canvas edges behind, the man slipped the painting under a garment, walked back down the stairs and reunited with his accomplice. The two hurried out of the museum and never returned. The heist took no more than 15 minutes.
With them, the thieves took an essential piece of the UAMA collection.
At the time of the theft, Brian Seastone, now chief of the University of Arizona Police Department, was a public information officer at UAPD.
“Immediately we started getting information as fast as we could. We brought in the FBI that day to help us because we knew the magnitude of this,” says Seastone, who was also the lead investigator on the case. UAPD has worked cooperatively with the FBI ever since.
The Masters Of Arts In Art History Consists Of Two Options:
The thesis track is typically taken by those who are interested in continuing for a PhD or pursuing an advanced teaching career in Art History through stressing scholarly research skills.
The non-thesis with comprehensive oral examination track emphasizes breadth of knowledge and practical training for teaching at the community college level, and is typically for students interested in working in art museum education, galleries and other commercial visual arts enterprises.
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Arte Para Todos Art For All
What if centering social justice restored public trust in museums? What if museums, designed to honor objects, change their model to honor people?
With a social justice and equity lens and the experimental, scholarly nature of the university art museum, ASU will have a meteoric impact on museums in the future. The museum harnesses the universitys breadth and depth of expertise to pioneer new models for arts learning, engagement and innovation that integrates relevancy, trust and resilient communities with museum institutions.
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Dear ASU Art Museum friends and members,
As we continue to monitor the novel coronavirus , the health and safety of our community continues to be our top priority. In order to limit the community spread of COVID-19, the ASU Art Museum has decided to temporarily pause its offerings to the public at our two museum locations, beginning March 17, until further notice. All events and programs at the museum and Ceramics Research Center are now canceled or will be postponed until further notice. We appreciate your understanding as we do our part in mitigating the spread of this virus.
Our staff is still working and available. If you have questions, contact us at or 480-965-2787.
Building Community in Times of Uncertainty
Staying Updated and Healthy
ASU Counseling Services
See you soon and be well,
ASU Art Museum
The Mission Of The Art Museums
As a teaching institution, Northern Arizona University and the Art Museums emphasize the diversity of voices, media, themes, and creative impulses at work in todayâs art. The Museums and the College of Arts and Letters believe in the centrality of artistic expression in all communities and cultures and the incalculable value of art as an educational experience. The Art Museums sustain their role as leading cultural institutions in northern Arizona through their acquisition of challenging, contemporary art, its support of a vibrant annual schedule of special exhibitions, and its outreach efforts directed to the larger northern Arizona community.
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After 31 Years Stolen ‘woman
On a routine Thursday afternoon at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, staffers were preparing for next season’s exhibitions when the phone rang.
A student receptionist answered. The man on the other end of the line said, “I think I have a painting of yours.”
“Which one?” asked the student.
“The de Kooning,” the man responded.
The receptionist asked UAMA security officer Jim Kushner what to do about the man on the phone. Transfer him to museum curator Olivia Miller’s office, Kushner said. Meanwhile, Miller and UAMA archivist Jill McCleary had overheard the exchange via walkie-talkie.
McCleary turned to Miller and asked, “Olivia, are we going to remember this moment for the rest of our lives?”
Millers phone rang. She picked up.
Uamas The Art Of Food
He invited Miller to Portland to peruse the phenomenal collection he and his art-focused foundation, the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, have amassed. It includes works by the most famous modern and contemporary artists of our time: Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Wayne Thiebaud, Jenny Holzer.
Miller eagerly traveled to Portland with Meg Hagyard, then the interim UAMA director. But it was no easy task to decide which of the treasures to bring back to Tucson. After all, Schnitzers collection holds no fewer than 19,000 artworks. Yes, 19,000.
How did she whittle those 19,000 pieces down to a reasonable number?
She laughs at the question.
Jordan had his collection organized in binders that you could flip alphabetically, she explains, adding that it was much easier than going through works in storage.
They first considered a solo exhibition, but then moved on to the idea of a thematic show featuring many artists. We wanted it to be interdisciplinary, she says. We had the same goal we have for every exhibition we do: We wanted every student or person from the community to feel they can connect with the show, get something new from it and see themselves in it.
Surprisingly, the collection has hundreds of pieces of artwork related to food, and soon, food was what they were thinking about.
Schnitzer admits to being a little dubious when he heard Millers proposal.
Originally published in the Winter 2022 Arizona Alumni magazine.
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Because Food Is Ubiquitous
“The Enlightened Savage,” by Enrique Chagoya is part of “The Art of Food” show at the University of Arizona Museum of Art.
The University of Arizona Museum of Art reopened late last month with an exhibit that explores a topic every person can relate to: food.
The Art of Food, which will remain open through March of next year, features 109 works of art by a wide variety of post-World War II artists, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Damien Hirst.
Its the largest exhibit the museum , which shut down in-person operations when the pandemic started in March 2020, has ever hosted. Each piece engages the theme of food how we make it, how we consume it, and how it shapes society in some way.
Jordan D. Schnitzer talks about an Andy Warhol piece of artwork that is part of The Art of Food show at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. The more than 100 pieces of artwork come from the collection of Schnitzer and his Family Foundation. The show runs from Oct. 24 to March 20.
All of the artists in this show are artists of our time. The themes in this exhibition are all themes of our generations, said Jordan D. Schnitzer, a real estate investor, philanthropist and prolific art collector who loaned the museum all of the pieces used in the exhibit. Simpsons piece, for example, sums up the hypocrisy, white supremacy and racial issues we have in this country, he said. You could write a 20,000-word essay about that, and nothing says it better than that piece.
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University Of Arizona Museum Of Art Outing
The University of Arizona Museum of Art opened in 1924 under the leadership of UA professor Katherine Kitt, who was the founder of the UA Art Department. The museum has been the beneficiary of several seminal donations of artwork since its inception. The generosity of donors of art over the years has made it possible for the Museum to grow into a world-class collection. Although the Museums holdings span many cultures and eras, the core collections include the art of Europe and the United States, from the Renaissance through Contemporary. We arrived at the Museum and were welcomed by the director and introduced to the docents that led our tour. The museum was in the news recently when a de Kooning painting that was stolen in 1985 was returned last year. The painting, Woman-Ochre, arrived back on campus last year after being found in an antique shop in New Mexico. The painting is valued at least $100 million, perhaps $160 million.
How To Reach University Of Arizona Museum Of Art
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- University Of Arizona Museum Of Art Address: 1031 N Olive Rd, Tucson, AZ 85721, United States, 85721
- University Of Arizona Museum Of Art Contact Number: +1-5206217567
- University Of Arizona Museum Of Art Timing: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm
- University Of Arizona Museum Of Art Price: 8 USD
- Time required to visit University Of Arizona Museum Of Art: 02:00 Hrs
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University Of Arizona: University Of Arizona Museum Of Art
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About the museum:
The history of the University of Arizona Museum of Art dates back to 1924, when the first art exhibit at the university was organized by Professor Katherine Kitt, who was also founder of the Art Department. The building which currently houses the museum was constructed in 1955.
For more information concerning the Japanese collection, please contact the museum at 621-7567 or by .
Willem De Kooning’s Place At Uama
The three-decade-long absence of “Woman-Ochre“ represented both a symbolic and physical hole in UAMA’s collection.
The artist, de Kooning, was one of the pioneers and leaders of abstract expressionism, a movement that began in New York after World War II. It was popularized by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and de Kooning, who began his “Woman“ series in 1950. The series, heavily influenced by Picasso, is considered monumental in the way it imagines the human figure. In 2006, “Woman III,” another de Kooning painting in the series, sold for $137.5 million.
UAMA houses a significant collection of abstract expressionist works, including Pollock’s “Number 20“ and Rothko’s “Green on Blue .” Now, once more, “Woman-Ochre“ will help tell UAMA’s story of this one-of-a-kind movement in art.
“The thieves actually committed two crimes that day,” says Kimberly Andrews Espy, UA senior vice president for research, whose office oversees UAMA. “First, they stole an important signature painting from the University’s museum collection. They also stole more than 30 years of access from the public and scholars across the world, depriving them of the opportunity to appreciate, learn from and be inspired by a significant artist.”
Because “Woman-Ochre“ was not in the care of UAMA for the last three decades, it will undergo evaluation before being put on exhibition.
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University Of Arizona Museum Of Art
The University of Arizona Museum of Art is an art museum in Tucson, Arizona, operated by the University of Arizona. The museum’s permanent collection includes more than 6,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and drawings with an emphasis on European and American fine art from the Renaissance to the present.
The museum is located on the UA’s campus near Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard. Admission is free to UA students, faculty, and staff with student ID. It is part of “the Museum Neighborhood,” a cluster of four museums within walking distance of each other the other three museums are the Center for Creative Photography, Arizona State Museum, and Arizona Historical Society .
A Theft And An Estate Sale
On Nov. 29, 1985, a Willem de Kooning painting, “Woman-Ochre,” was stolen from the University of Arizona Museum of Art.
As Van Auker walked into a bedroom, he noticed something hidden behind a door. At first, he thought it was an art print. He looked closer. The canvas was wrinkled. It was a painting.
“I assumed it was a painting either by the people who lived there, or maybe a study they had done,” Van Auker says. “But I really liked it, so I called in Buck and said, ‘Hey Buck, come in here and look at this painting.'” Burns, a firefighter, actor in local theater and Van Auker’s life partner, liked the painting, too.
For $2,000, they bought the estate, including the wrinkled painting. They headed back to Silver City and dropped off the painting at their store that same night.
The next morning, the first customer to walk into the store touched the painting and commented, “I think that’s a real de Kooning.” Van Auker scoffed, but within hours, four customers had come into the store, each commenting that the painting could be an authentic de Kooning, some returning several times to see it, and, according to Van Auker, one offering $200,000 for it.
Burns hid the painting while Van Auker took to Google. He scrolled through four pages of search results before clicking on a story by Anne Ryman in The Arizona Republic, headlined “Unsolved Arizona mystery: de Kooning painting valued at $100 million missing for 30 years.“
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A Journey To New Mexico Begins
Within five minutes of reading the Republic news story, Van Auker says, he made the call to the museum.
“I thought, ‘How am I going to convey to her that I got the painting in New Mexico and I’m not crazy?'” Van Auker says. “But next thing I know, Olivia is on the phone.” Miller requested that Van Auker send detailed photos of the painting.
“Every picture made us more and more confident,” Miller says.
She and colleagues called Meg Hagyard, the new interim director of UAMA, who asked, “Do we think this is a prank?” They did not. They proceeded to inform UAPD, as well as the FBI agent advising on the case, Meridith Savona.
Miller, McCleary, Hagyard, UAMA curator of community engagement Chelsea Farrar and UAMA senior exhibition specialist Nathan Saxton piled into two cars the next day. As the team drove toward Silver City, Van Auker assured Miller over the phone, “We want to right a wrong. We want the painting to go back to Arizona with you guys.”
A friend of Van Auker’s had agreed to safe-keep “Woman-Ochre” at his home but was hosting a barbecue for out-of-town family when the UAMA team and officers from the Silver City Police Department arrived on the scene. They stepped inside, and into the room where “Woman-Ochre” sat.
“Olivia was on her knees, teary-eyed, in front of the painting,” Hagyard says.
The team gingerly wrapped it in bubble wrap and Tyvek and took it to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office to be crated and transported back to Tucson.
Uamas The Art Of Food By Margaret Regan Arizona Alumni Association
Olivia Miller 05, curator at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, is the mastermind behind The Art of Food, a popular and provocative exhibition thats all about food.
Three years ago, though, the beginnings of the show gave Miller a considerable art challenge.
Portland collector Jordan Schnitzer had visited the UAMA and was so impressed with the museum that he offered to lend some of his artworks to the university for a show. Thats not unusual for Schnitzer, a commercial real estate mogul he often lends pieces in his collection to universities free of charge.
As much as I have passion for the art I live with, he says, my greater passion is sharing it.
Andy Warhol Banana , ca. 1966 Two screenprints on styrene and laminated plastic, edition of 300 Collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation Image: Strode Photographic
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The Ua’s Unsolved Case Of The Stolen Painting Thirty Years After It Was Taken From The Ua Museum Of Art The Willem De Kooning Painting Woman
On Friday, Nov. 29, 1985, the day after Thanksgiving, a coveted painting was stolen from the University of Arizona Museum of Art.
The painting was “Woman-Ochre,” one of six Willem de Kooning paintings in a series exploring the figure of a woman. “Woman III,“ another in the series, sold in 2006 for $137.5 million at the time, the second-most expensive painting ever sold.
The story of the theft of “Woman-Ochre,” full of intrigue though sparse in detail, continues to haunt museum staff even after the passing of 30 years.
How It Happened
At approximately 9 a.m., a security officer opened the front door of the museum to let a staff member into the lobby. Two visitors a man and a woman followed inside.
The man wandered up to the second floor while the woman engaged in small talk with a security guard. The man spent a little less than 10 minutes on the second floor, cutting “Woman-Ochre” out of its wood frame with a sharp blade. Leaving remnants of the painting’s canvas edges behind, the man slipped the painting under a garment, walked back down the stairs and reunited with his partner.
The two hurried out of the museum, hopped into a rust-colored sports car and never returned. The heist took no more than 15 minutes.
The case remains open.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Meridith Savona is assigned to the case, as one of 16 special agents throughout the country on the FBI’s 10-year-old Art Crime Team.
A Keenly Felt Absence
Hope of a Recovery
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