As the Tucson Museum of Art prepares for its 100th anniversary, plans are underway to bring out 50-60 significant pieces from the museum’s vault, each holding a pivotal place in the institution’s history.

Julie Sasse, chief curator at the Tucson Museum of Art, shared insights into the meticulous selection process.

“It’s been quite fun to look at the full collection and decide what are some of the top pieces or the pieces that we feel are really important for the centennial celebration,” Dr. Sasse said.

Collaboration among all three curators has played a crucial role in curating the exhibition. One curator in particular, has taken a unique approach by centering the 100th exhibition around the theme of time travel.

“So thinking about it not only from when the pieces were acquired, but maybe at the time they were made, and then our perceptions of those works have changed over time, and how our today responds to works from the past,” Sasse explained.

The exhibition is organized into three thematic divisions: Foundation, Transformation, and Expansion.

We’re looking at those three things, and we found that many of the works can fit into any of those categories, showing us how timeless art can be,” added Sasse.

Beyond the artistic showcase, Sasse emphasized the importance of community connections.

“It’s very important, it’s crucial that we connect with the community, and that they feel that this is their museum. This is the city’s museum,” she said.

Highlighting the significance of the centennial celebration, Dr. Sasse underlined the broader communal aspect.

“It’s very important that we celebrate this time because it also celebrates the hundreds and thousands of people who come to the museum or become members or have been volunteers, and it’s their party too,” she said. “It’s their celebration and it’s their museum.”

The centennial celebration is set to open to the public on March 17.