Tucson Museum of Art gets 1,200 pieces of donated art

Tucson Museum of Art gets big donation

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson Museum of Art and History Block received a big donation of art.

Vicki Ragan and Shepard Barbash donated more than 1,200 pieces of Mexican folk art and more than 300 whole works of art.

The couple collected the items during their time in Mexico, where Barbash was working as a foreign correspondent.

A movement of art was happening in Oaxaca at the time, in the late 1980s. Rural people began carving the figurines with bright colors to reflect their lives.

“We became friends with a lot of them, and when they needed money or we’d see something great, we would end up getting it,” said Ragan.

Over the course of about five years, they collected the 1,200 pieces. Each piece cost less than $10.

“Culturally, it’s priceless because it represents a very golden moment in the history of a culture,” said Barbash.

They donated the pieces to the Tucson Museum of Art because they said it felt like the best place for all the artwork to stay together and tell the story. They donated it at no cost to the museum.

The display is not out for the public to see quite yet. The museum said the art will be on display in October 2019 and will be open for about a year.

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