Tues. – Sat. | 10a – 4:30p
Willem de Kooning’s Woman-Ochre – stolen from University of Arizona Museum of Art in 1985, recovered in 2017 and now expertly restored by the J. Paul Getty Museum – returns to Tucson this fall.
Visitors can see the prized painting at the UAMA for the first time in 37 years and learn about its harrowing, but heartwarming, journey home. A companion exhibition, Abstract Perspectives in Mid-Century Art, examines the cultural milieu that surrounded de Kooning’s artistic development from 1950-1970 with works by peers like Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Louise Nevelson and Elaine de Kooning.
Stolen Painting Returns Home
The historic homecoming will be marked by events and programming on topics ranging from art crime to art conservation. The exhibition runs through May 20, 2023.
It’s been a long journey for a painting stolen from the University of Arizona Museum of Art 37 years ago. But Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre” is finally home for good.
The painting, which captured international attention following its shocking 1985 theft and its recovery more than three decades later, arrived on campus via 18-wheeler with a Homeland Security escort on the night of Sept 14. The truck had traveled 500 miles from the renowned J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where the painting was displayed over the summer following a complex restoration by Getty conservators to repair damage sustained due to the theft.
“Woman-Ochre” will go on exhibit at the University of Arizona Museum of Art on Oct. 8.
Olivia Miller, interim director and exhibitions curator at UAMA, was among a small group of university staff and law enforcement officials gathered when the painting arrived on campus after dark.
“Seeing it come back was this moment of relief and peace of mind that yes, this painting has come home,” she said.
“It’s not just us at the museum who are excited about it,” she added. “Everyone on campus is excited, everyone at the Getty is excited. The fact that one painting can make all these people come together is – I don’t know – there really are no words for it.”
$8 – General
$6 – Seniors 65+ and groups of 10+
Free for Museum members, students with ID, University of Arizona faculty and staff, active military personnel, AAM members, visitors with a SNAP card or Tribal ID, and children
On Oct. 6 at Centennial Hall, the Tucson community is invited to a free, ticketed screening of “The Thief Collector” – a documentary that explores Woman-Ochre’s disappearance and how a mild-mannered couple could have pulled one of the greatest art heists of a generation. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.
“Restored: The Return of Woman-Ochre” is part of the Arizona Arts Signature Series, a curated set of events and experiences this fall designed to highlight the amazing work being done across the division.