DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Historic District

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Chapel at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Historic District is the artistic manifestation and architecture constructed by Ettore DeGrazia. The property is a series of buildings scattered throughout a natural desert setting. Built in Tucson near the intersection of Swan Road and Skyline the property is now a museum open to the public. Construction began in 1951 with the open air Mission in the Sun followed by a series of other expressionistic adobe buildings. The gallery/museum was constructed in 1965 with details including cactus flooring, exposed wood beams, rafters and unique artistic finishes.

The gallery replaced the first DeGrazia Building constructed in 1944 on the corner of Prince and Campbell Road. Artists and friends who spent time at the new gallery included Thomas Hart Benton, Olaf Wieghorst, Jack Van Ryder, Pete Martinez and Ross Santee. In 2006, the 10-acre (40,000 m2) property, now a museum of DeGrazia's work, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2017, Mission in the Sun, a chapel, was heavily damaged in a fire. Conservators began work to salvage and restore some of the artifacts.[1][2]


  • Mission in the Sun 1952
  • DeGrazia House 1952
  • Island House 1954 (demolished)
  • Ceramics Studio 1954
  • Brian's House 1955
  • Ghost House 1956
  • Gate House 1960
  • Gallery in the Sun 1965
  • Garage 1966
  • Nun's house 1968
  • Underground House 1969
  • Apartment 1972
  • DeGrazia Grave 1982


Front Exterior of the Gallery In the Sun
Cholla Walkway
Gallery In the Sun gift shop
Interior of the Gallery In the Sun
DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
DeGrazia Mission
Interior of Mission In the Sun (damaged in 2017 fire)
Chapel Mural (damaged in 2017 fire)
Festivities at the Mission In the Sun
Interior of Chapel and Altar (damaged in 2017 fire)
Festivities at the Gallery In the Sun
DeGrazia's Grave


  • Adams, Margaret, Artist DeGrazia Built His Own Empire, Arizona Wildcat, December 17, 1962.
  • Clinco, Demion, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun National Register of Historic Places Nomination, 2006.
  • Buildings of Architectural Significance in Tucson, The American Institute of Architects, building number three. October 1960.
  • Hermit Artist Builds Own Mission, National Geographic Magazine, September 1953, pp350.
  • Cardon, Charlotte, “DeGrazia Creates His Own Environment.” The Arizona Daily Star, October 1964.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°19′20″N 110°53′30″W / 32.32222°N 110.89167°W / 32.32222; -110.89167

  1. ^ Araiza, A.E. (December 17, 2017). "Conservator salvages murals and mementos from DeGrazia's fire-damaged Mission in the Sun". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  2. ^ "Fire damages Tucson landmark: the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun chapel". Arizona Daily Star. May 30, 2017. Retrieved 2018-04-26.