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  • Arizona State MuseumArizona State Museum Tucson, Arizona
    The Arizona State Museum (ASM) started out in 1893, and was a repository for the many collected and protected archaeological remains that were discovered. Currently, the ASM houses numerous artifacts, displaying them, as well as educating and researching opportunities, and started by the Territorial Legislature. It is managed by the University of Arizona and located in Tucson, Arizona. For thousands of years, Native People have lived in the North American continent and the museum uncovers their habitats, art, communication and lifeways that these early people in the southwest took part in. The staff looks at sites of the past occupants of this continent to see how these people lived, what they wore, what they ate and how they created their artworks. These people lived day-to-day, constructing villages and homes that have crumbled away or destroyed by the forces of nature. Emil Haury, one of the early and important directors of the museum, led many excavations in the southwest, teaching students and other folks his discoveries and methodology. The ASM houses many of these artifacts that were created by the peoples of the past as well as those of the present, that contain clothing, baskets, jewelry, textiles and pottery. The archaeological relics have been discovered by the staff and students in their excavations, while the ethnological pieces have been given to the museum by the Native American tribes, as well as individuals and some that were bought by the museum. ASM exhibits many of the relics that is has, like a display of pottery just recently created and those magnificent pieces of pottery from the past, as well as masks created by Mexicans, or textiles woven by the Native American artisans and so much more. The museum has a calendar full of public programs and events, like the Southwest Indian Art Fair, that is hosted every year, and other events like the family-oriented lectures, and activities about subjects that pertain to the museum's activities and categories.  Students of art, design, anthropology, archaeology and other areas that relate to the investigative works of the museum help ASM personnel to get more acquainted with the objects, techniques and materials from this collection; some actually taking part in the excavations that are done by the museum. The Office of Ethnohistoric Research keeps documents and microfilm to find the written records that allow them to research the activities of these early peoples that came to the region before the 20th century. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers came here, making their influence spread north and south into all the civilizations that were here. AZSite keeps and updates their database of cultural sites and surveys so that those interested in research or resources can use them for whatever purposes that they may have. That way, people looking for certain information can find what they want or need without having to come here themselves, since there are hundreds of these sites in the region. The ASM library is a reference library that holds 70,000 volumes, and those interested in these works can read or study them, with many periodicals available to complement their research.  The museum continues to have a working relationship with tribes around the southwest, so that visits to the tribal communities can allow them to evaluate various objects they have discovered and to assist the museum's staff when they are in the process of excavating. Revitalizing the downtown area of Tucson has helped to recreate many of the structures that were there, but later disappeared for one reason or another, since they were such an important part of their lives.

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  • De Grazia Gallery in the SunDe Grazia Gallery in the Sun Tucson, Arizona
    The De Grazia gallery is the repository of Ted De Grazia's artworks in Tucson, Arizona, and contains many of this great artist's best works. He was born to Italian immigrants in 1909, in the Morenci mining camp of the territory of Arizona and his early childhood would involve him in the ethnically diverse community that would evolve over his lifetime and into a great appreciation of the native cultures that exist in the Sonoran Desert and his passion to create art that depicts their lives and legends. When the Phelps Dodge mine closed in 1920, Ted went with his parents back to the Calabria area of Italy, and then coming back to the desert when the mine reopened five years later. He was once more enrolled in the first grade to learn English and was nicknamed Ted by his teachers. He would graduate form Morenci High School at the age of 23, and was already an accomplished trumpeter performing for his friends and family. Ted worked in the mines for a short time, and then hitchhiked to Tucson, with his trumpet and $15 in his pocket. In 1933, he enrolled in the University of Arizona, and while taking classes, he supported himself by planting trees on the campus during the days and playing with a big band at night. At one of the performances, he met Alexandra, the daughter of Fox Theater owner, Nicholas Diamos and they married in 1936. Moving to Bisbee, Ted would manage the Lyric Theater there, that was owned by the Diamos family, and had three children. In 1946, they divorced. Ted had started painting in the town of Bisbee in 1941, and Raymond Carlson, the editor of Arizona Highways began publishing stories about the artist. In 1942, on a rare vacation in Mexico, Ted and his wife left the ballet early to visit the Palacio Municipal where the gifted muralist Diego Rivera was working. This meeting would lead to his taking up an internship with Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco, as well as a solo exhibition by De Grazia's paintings at the prestigious Palacio de Bellas Artes. When Ted came back to Tucson, he found that there weren't any galleries that would exhibit his works, so he purchased an acre of land for $25 down and built his first adobe studio in 1944. He would also get his BA in education from UA, and the next year he got his BFA, plus a master of arts titled "Art and Its Relation to Music in Music Education". Marion Sheret, a New York sculptor, came to his studio and his first words to her were, "where have you been?"; and soon they would marry in the jungles of Mexico in 1947. They purchased a 10 acre foothills site in the early 1950s to construct his Gallery in the Sun. His paintings, ceramics and other artworks would continue to bring media attention that also included the NBC newsreel, "Watch the World" and then a profile in a 1953 National Geographic article called "From Tucson to Tombstone". He started rising in the realm of the national attention, and it would skyrocket when UNICEF picked his 1957 oil painting "Los Ninos" for their 1960 holiday card that would sell millions around the world. To protest the inheritance taxes that were put on artworks, Ted took 100 of his paintings into the Superstition Mountains by Phoenix and burned them in 1976. The incident would be reported in the Wall Street Journal and People Magazine, adding to his eccentric legend before he passed away in 1982. He had founded the DeGrazia Foundation by then, so that his permanent collection would be preserved for future generations.

January 11, 2011