Tucson, AZ

These Interesting Museums in Tucson Are Absolutely Worth Visiting

Kate Feathers

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Have you ever wondered what museums there are to explore in Tucson, Arizona?

Well, look no further! In this article, we're going to discover all there is to know about some deeply interesting museums that can be found right in Tucson. They aren't the most visited and known ones (such as the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for example), however, they are very fascinating and educational when it comes to specific topics.

Ready? Let's discover what Tucson has to offer!

Mat Bevel's Museum Of Kinetic Art

The first place on the list of museums worth exploring in Tucson is the Mat Bevel's Museum of Kinetic Art, which shows more than 150 kinetic sculptures that were created by a sculptor called Ned Schaper. His creation process is actually very fascinating. To quote the website of the museum:

"He uses only what’s available—found objects—as the raw materials for his sculptures, along with his understanding of mechanics and physics. The real magic is in Schaper’s intuitive engineering approach. He does not know what the object will become when he begins his process. Instead, by working with the materials of the found object, he lets the object’s ultimate function emerge on its own, which leads to beautiful and unexpected results."

The moving sculptures are all very interesting to explore. What's more, they all have a unique name, for example, "Princess Parody Pillow Lips" or "Major Crisis". The exhibition is playful enough to remind you of your childhood, while it simultaneously intellectually challenges you as it's grounded in physics and biology.

If you'd like to visit Mat Bevel's Museum of Kinetic Art in Tucson and let yourself be mesmerized, don't hesitate to go to 3113 E Columbia Street in Tucson where the place is located.

Jewish History Museum

Let's take a step back and look at a completely different topic now - instead of physics and art, the Jewish History Museum in Tucson focuses on, as the title suggests, Jewish history. The museum apparently used to be called "Jewish Heritage Center of the Southwest" and it's located in a historic synagogue - it was the first synagogue in the Arizona Territory and it was built in 1910.

Apart from the historic synagogue, you also get to explore the Holocaust History Center, which is actually the only place of its kind in all of Arizona. The website of the museum says:

"Through educational and community outreach, exhibitions, and public programs, the museum explores the histories and contemporary experiences of Jewish people in Southern Arizona and purposefully places them in conversation with the experiences of other traditionally marginalized communities. The Holocaust History Center presents the Holocaust through the life experiences of more than 260 Holocaust survivors who both survived Nazi persecution and later lived in Southern Arizona."

There are other parts of the museum you can explore, such as a contemporary human rights gallery, a sculpture garden, or a contemplation space.

If you'd prefer to discover what the museum has to offer virtually, there are online tours you can take on the official website, such as "Jews in Southern Arizona" or "Mapping Migration." Current exhibitions (at the time of writing this article - 29th May 2021) displayed in real life at the museum are for example "Clamor in the Desert" or "Asylum/Asilo".

At the moment, visitors can't drop in without warning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You can visit the place in the future though! You can find the Jewish History Museum at 564 S. Stone Ave in Tucson.

Final Thoughts

Although many museums in Tucson are temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you can still add them to your list of places you'd like to explore in Tucson once life resumes back to normal.

The Jewish History Museum and the Mat Bevel's Museum of Kinetic Art are both deeply fascinating and they are absolutely worth visiting if you ever find yourself in Tucson in the future.

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I'm a student of Languages & Comparative Literature who writes about relationships, feminism and personal growth. Discover more of my work: https://linktr.ee/clumsylinguist

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