Ignite Sign Art Museum – Tucson, Arizona - Atlas Obscura
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Tucson, Arizona

Ignite Sign Art Museum

This collection of neon icons is preserving Arizona's history, one sign at a time. 

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs—at the Ignite Sign Art Museum in Tucson’s Arroyo Chico neighborhood. What’s so special about this collection is the sheer variety of signs on display. There’s neon, electric, hand-painted, aluminum, and LED. They run the gamut from historic neon signs to a rescued 76 gas station ball. There are signs from local mom-and-pop grocery stores displayed next to an enormous Arby’s hat. It’s an eclectic and unexpected assortment, just like Tucson itself.

The Ignite museum started as the personal collection of Jude Cook, who has spent his life in the design and sign industry. His work is familiar to any Tucsonan; his company built the city’s iconic neon saguaro at Main Street and Drachman, and restored beloved historic signs including the Tropicana, the Picarretta-Davis diving girl, and the Canyon State Motor Lodge.

Over the course of 40 years, Cook collected signs from across Arizona and the U.S., and acquired a reputation as the person to call when you needed an old sign hauled off quick. After his collection grew too large to store, he decided to put it on display for everyone to enjoy. Ignite Sign Art Museum opened to the public in 2018.

Visit Ignite on a typical day and you’ll see signs in various states of repair and refurbishment. It’s a rare opportunity to see what goes into bringing these iconic (and fragile) American icons back to life.

Know Before You Go

There's free parking onsite.

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