The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts


Irene Rice Pereira  Man and Machine, 1936

From the UAMA Permanent Collection

May 27, 2010 – October 31, 2010

Fritz Lang’s 1927 film, Metropolis, is justifiably famous for its iconic imagery and advancements in film technique. Although the plot itself is considered the weakest part of the movie, the themes presented in the film addressed important concepts being debated in the years between the two world wars: labor issues, class division, industrialization, mechanization, architecture, and the nature of modernity.

This exhibition explores works from both the UAMA Permanent Collection and the fine arts collection of the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) to see how artists addressed these themes, either in design or in meaning. The exhibition is divided into sections focusing on specific aspects of the film. The viewer will discover that the indecisive approach in the film’s plot to many of the issues of the day reflects the ambivalence and confusion of society as a whole to the unfolding future.

We want to thank the CCP for the generous use of photographs from their collection. Additionally, both UA professor Dr. David Soren and MFA graduate Christopher McGinnis provided valuable insight into the cultural issues surrounding the film. For further reading, we recommend the collection of essays on the film compiled by Michael Minden and Holger Bachmann: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis: Cinematic Visions of Technology and Fear [Camden House: 2000].

Lauren Rabb, UAMA Curator of Art

Caroline Nelson, Co-Curator


Metropolis, edited by Channing Pollock for American audiences, will be continuously screened in the Museum gallery.

Show Times:

Tuesday through Friday: 9am, 10:30, 12 noon, 1:30, 3:00pm

Saturday and Sunday: 12:30pm, 2:00pm

Download the metropolis brochure to learn more about the movie.

Read reviews of the exhibition: 

From Ads to High Art in Tucson Weekly