Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe

The Arizona State University Art Museum is located in Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix. It is the largest art museum in the state and has a collection of over 125,000 pieces.

The History of Art Museum

The Arizona State University Art Museum was founded in 1936 as the School of Art.

In 1959, it became an independent school within the university and was renamed the Museum of Art.

In 1976, it merged with the School of Architecture, forming the School of Visual Arts. The museum changed its name to the ASU Art Museum in 2001.

The ASU Art Museum has a collection of over 28,000 works from around the world.

Among its most notable collections are Asian art, European paintings from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and Native American art.

History of the Building

The Arizona State University Art Museum opened on November 15, 1951, in a renovated former bus barn on the Tempe campus.

The collection of art was begun with gifts from the alumni and friends of the school. The first director of the museum was A.R. Heilbroner.

In 1954, construction began on a new building for the museum, designed by architects Walter Marti and Arthur Erickson.

The new facility was opened in 1957 and featured an underground gallery with rotating exhibitions that drew national attention to ASU’s museum.

In 1978, the museum moved into its current building on Mill Avenue, designed by Schmidt-Barnhart Architects in consultation with Heilbroner and Marti.

The building includes a modern glass atrium. It has an exhibition space that can accommodate more than 1,500 visitors.

Since 1986, the museum has been affiliated with Arizona State University’s School of Art and Architecture.

Today, the Art Museum is one of Arizona’s most important cultural institutions. It is home to one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary art.

Purpose of the Museum

The Arizona State University Art Museum (ASUAM) was founded in 1916 and is the oldest continuously operating art museum in the state of Arizona.

The ASUAM’s mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and promotes arts and culture in Arizona and beyond.

The museum has a collection of over 140,000 objects, including paintings, prints, sculptures, and photographs.

The ASUAM’s collection is divided into six main galleries:

  • the American Wing,
  • the Asian Art Gallery,
  • the Contemporary Art Gallery,
  • the European Wing,
  • the Hispanic Collection, and
  • the Modern and Contemporary Collection.

The museum also houses a library with over 60,000 books and periodicals on art.

The ASUAM offers educational programs for students of all ages and teaches classes on art history, painting techniques, photography, sculpture, architecture, design appreciation, and more.

In addition to its permanent collections and exhibitions, the ASUAM hosts traveling exhibitions throughout the year.

The Gallery

The Arizona State University Art Museum has a wide variety of art pieces on display, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary paintings.

The gallery also holds special exhibitions throughout the year, providing visitors with an opportunity to see new works of art.

Artwork on Exhibition

The Arizona State University Art Museum presents “Abstract Expressionism: A Retrospective” from November 12, 2017, to January 21, 2018.

The exhibition features work by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, David Smith, and Alexander Calder.

What’s Inside the ASU Art Museum, Tempe?

If you’re looking for a glimpse of contemporary art in Arizona, the ASU Art Museum is the place to be.

With a permanent collection that spans centuries, the museum has something for everyone.

From classical to contemporary works, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. But what’s really inside? Let’s take a closer look.

The ASU Art Museum is home to more than 60,000 pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures, and prints.

The museum also features a wide variety of exhibitions, from traveling shows to themed exhibits.

Whether you’re interested in learning about art history or just enjoying some beautiful pieces on display, the ASU Art Museum has something for you.

Favorite Places to Eat on Campus

From fast food to sit-down restaurants, students can find something to their taste. Here are some of our favorites:

Subway: Subway is a well-known restaurant chain that offers inexpensive food with plenty of variety. They have two locations on campus, one near the student union and one near the library.

Chipotle: Another popular restaurant chain, Chipotle offers healthy food at an affordable price. There are three Chipotle locations on campus – one near the student union and two near the library.

Dunkin’ Donuts: A popular choice for breakfast, Dunkin’ Donuts offers a wide variety of coffee and pastries. There is one Dunkin’ Donuts location on campus – next to Starbucks – and it’s open 24 hours a day.

Panera Bread: A popular choice for lunch, Panera Bread offers sandwiches and salads made from fresh ingredients. There is one Panera Bread location on campus – in front of the library – and it’s open from 7am to 10pm daily.

What To See and Do

The Arizona State University Art Museum houses a world-class collection of art dating back to the 1800s. Highlights of the museum include pieces by Monet, Picasso, and Warhol. Additionally, the museum features temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.


Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about ASU AM:

Q: What hours does the museum open?

  • Thursday 11 am–5 pm
  • Friday 11 am–5 pm
  • Saturday 11 am–5 pm
  • Sunday 11 am–5 pm
  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed

Q: How much does it cost to visit ASU AM?

Admission tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for seniors (65+), and students with ID. Children (ages 3-17) are free with a parents/guardian admission ticket. ASU AM members receive free admission every day.

Q: Is there a suggested donation for visiting ASU AM?

Yes, a suggested donation of $2 per person or item is appreciated. All donations support the museum’s programs and activities.

Q: I’ve never been to an art museum before – what should I expect?

ASU AM is a general art museum with a focus on Arizona artists. The art on display ranges from the prehistoric period to contemporary works. ASU AM has been in operation since 1978 and is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM).

Can I get lost in an art museum?

Yes. A map of ASU AM’s galleries is available at the reception desk or in each gallery for those who may want to explore further on their own.

How to Get There

If you are visiting the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, you will find that it is located on the southwest corner of campus. The easiest way to get there is by taking the light rail or bus from the Valley Metro Rail Station. Once you are at the museum, parking is available in nearby lots and on campus.

Admission Fees

Since the Arizona State University Art Museum opened in 1935, it has been home to a diverse and talented body of artists. The museum offers free admission on Wednesdays from 5-8pm, and all day on the first Saturday of each month.

Featured exhibitions this year include “The Constructed World: Art since the 1970s” and “A New Perspective: Contemporary Arizona Artists.”
Check out the website for more information about upcoming exhibitions!






Final Thoughts

The Arizona State University Art Museum is home to a vast collection of art from around the world. The museum has something for everyone, with galleries dedicated to painting, sculpture, photography, and more. Whether you’re a student looking for inspiration or a lover of art in general, the ASU Art Museum is worth a visit.