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“Small, but well curated and interesting museum”

Arizona State Museum
Ranked #37 of 288 things to do in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The oldest anthropological museum in the region, the Arizona State Museum has been collecting and interpreting the cultures of the Southwest since 1893.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
845 reviews
412 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 498 helpful votes
“Small, but well curated and interesting museum”
Reviewed May 23, 2012

ALERT: This is a different operation from the Arizona Historical Society Museum a block or so away.

First of all, don't set your expectations for the size of the museum by what you see from the outside, since the museum actually occupies only the first floor of that big building on the University of Arizona campus. However, that small space is well used for interesting cultural exhibits. When I visited, there was a very informative exhibit on the history and culture of Mexico that included representative artifacts from pre-Columbian times, as well as Santa Anna's ceremonial uniform. The exhibit on the Native American cultures of the area was particularly informative in conveying much information without generally resorting to those small text boxes that hardly anyone ever reads. (I have a friend who is a museum director, and she tells me that this is common knowledge in the profession.) There was also an exhibit of Hopi quilts, and a large permanent collection of pueblo pottery and basketry stretching from a few thousand years into the past to modern works by top artists.

To net it out: This may not be your first stop on a tour of Tucson, but, particularly if you happen to be on the UA campus, it is worth the small admission fee to see what is there.

Visited May 2012
2 Thank AnnArborMiBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Scottsdale, AZ
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2012

One of the best ways to get to know the Tucson area, it's fantastic pre-contact indigenous and modern American Indian communities, and see the excellent collections of the ASM on exhibit.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank azindn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Rather pricey”
Reviewed April 9, 2012

The entrance fee will restrict some families from enjoying a good museum experience

Visited April 2012
2 Thank taztraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Multi-Media Walks and Talks of Southwestern Cultures”
Reviewed April 5, 2012

Walking the Path of Life to learn of the origins and history of at least ten American Indian tribes of the Southwest is a visual treat with presentations through exhibits, artwork, artifacts and videos. The resiliency and unique cultural contribution of each of the tribes are highlighted. The tenacity of.their survival is outlined despite the oppression by the United States government and even the Sierra Club as authenticated in historical documents. We could have toured other parts of the museum but happened to visit on a day of a lecture about their incredible photography collection. We spent the time listening to the curator give an animated talk and showing selected archived photos rather than exploring all other parts of the museum. You might want to find out what the schedule is for special presentations like these since they are offered regularly. Their timing might influence the day or amount of time you give to the museum, A great way to spend a morning or afternoon in Tucson!

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Sandy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Needs updated exhibit technology”
Reviewed February 29, 2012

The information is very interesting about AZ, but you have to read and read and read and then read some more. We went during a juried Indian Arts and Crafts show which they sponsored which was absolutely spectacular.

Thank comtn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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