There’s a richness of art in the Old Pueblo, such as Fernando Gallego’s “Ecce Homo,” at the University of Arizona Museum of Art.

There’s a richness of art in the Old Pueblo. Museums with eclectic and impressive collections. Galleries fat with contemporary artists.

But we know it can become overwhelming. So we’ve asked the experts at Tucson visual arts organizations to select one piece of art and give us deeper details on it and where you can see it this summer.

First up, University of Arizona Museum of Art. Olivia Miller, UAMA’s curator of collections, gives us the scoop on a piece in the museum’s permanent collection.

  • Art piece: “Ecce Homo,” oil on panel, 1480-1488, 61-by-43 inches. It depicts Jesus in in a crown of thorns as Pontius Pilate hands him to the people.
  • Artist: Fernando Gallego, an important Castilian painter who ran a large workshop and created many church altarpieces in Spain.
  • Style: Narrative (Biblical) in the Hispano-Flemish style.
  • What makes this piece significant: This is one of 26 surviving panels from a rare altarpiece that originally hung in the cathedral of Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain. It is one of the finest examples of 15th-century Spanish art.
  • What demands a closer look in the piece: There is a hole in it! During the Peninsular Wars in 1812, the Duke of Wellington’s troops bombarded the cathedral with cannon fire. This painting and the cathedral itself still bear the scars of war. In addition, due to the painting’s age, the paint is, over time, becoming transparent, revealing the artist’s underdrawing beneath. It gives viewers the chance to see how the artist worked.
  • How/when museum acquired the art: This piece and the others in the altarpiece were donated by Samuel H. Kress in 1961. Kress made his fortune with his chain of Kress variety stores. His sister-in-law, Virginia Kress, was a UA alumnus, so he had a special connection to Tucson.
  • Where to see it: The University of Arizona Museum of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road in the UA Fine Arts complex, on the southeast corner of North Park Avenue and East Speedway. Admission is $8. Open 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays; noon-5 p.m. Sundays. The museum will be closed July 4 and July 8-26 for renovations.

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at or 573-4128.


Kathleen has covered the arts for the Star for 20 years. Previously, she covered business, news and features for the Tucson Citizen. A near-native of Tucson, she is continually amazed about the Old Pueblo's arts scene and feels lucky to be covering it.