Phoenix Art Museum

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Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Art Museum entrance.jpg
Phoenix Art Museum's north entrance
Established18 November 1959 (1959-11-18)
Location1625 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85004 United States
Coordinates 33°28′00″N112°04′22″W / 33.466749°N 112.072655°W / 33.466749; -112.072655 Coordinates: 33°28′00″N112°04′22″W / 33.466749°N 112.072655°W / 33.466749; -112.072655
Type Art Museum [1]
DirectorAmada Cruz, The Sybil Harrington Director [2]
Public transit access #10, Central at McDowell (METRO Light Rail)
Website Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum is the Southwest United States' largest art museum for visual art. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the museum is 285,000-square-foot (26,500 m2). It displays international exhibitions alongside its comprehensive collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. A community center since 1959, it hosts year-round programs of festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs. It also features The Hub: The James K. Ballinger Interactive Gallery, an interactive space for children; photography exhibitions through the museum’s partnership with the Center for Creative Photography; the landscaped Sculpture Garden; dining at Palette, and shopping at The Museum Store.

Art museum Building or space for the exhibition of art

An art museum or art gallery is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be accessible to all or have restrictions in place. Although primarily concerned with visual art, art galleries are often used as a venue for other cultural exchanges and artistic activities, such as performance arts, music concerts, or poetry readings. Art museums also frequently host themed temporary exhibitions which often include items on loan from other collections.

Phoenix, Arizona State capital city in Arizona, United States

Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the most populous American state capital, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.

Center for Creative Photography photography archive in Tucson, Arizona

The Center for Creative Photography (CCP), established in 1975 and located on the University of Arizona (Tucson) campus, is a research facility and archival repository containing the full archives of over sixty of the most famous American photographers including those of Edward Weston, Harry Callahan and Garry Winogrand, as well as a collection of over 80,000 images representing more than 2,000 photographers. The center also houses the archives for Ansel Adams, including all negatives known to exist at the time of his death. The CCP collects, preserves, interprets, and makes available materials that are essential to understanding photography and its history.


It has been designated a Phoenix Point of Pride. [1] [3]

Phoenix Points of Pride

The Phoenix Points of Pride are 33 landmarks and attractions within the Phoenix, Arizona, city limits that are claimed to represent the best features of the city for both residents and visitors. Each Point of Pride was selected through an election process that involved 40,000 residents voting for their favorite destinations and resources.


Opened in 1959, the Phoenix Art Museum is located on the Central Avenue Corridor.

Central Avenue Corridor human settlement in Phoenix, Arizona, United States of America

The Central Avenue Corridor is a significant stretch of north-south Central Avenue, in Phoenix, Arizona. Roughly bounded by Camelback Road to its north, and McDowell Road to its south, this is one of Phoenix's most vital and heavily trafficked stretches of roadway. It is also one of the region's largest centers of employment, with nearly 60,000 people being employed within a three-mile (5 km) radius of this swath of Central Avenue. Major employers here include major banks and financial institutions, hi-tech companies, and several significant law firms and government agencies.

Shortly after Arizona became the 48th state in 1912, the Phoenix Women’s Club was formed and worked with the Arizona State Fair Committee to develop a fine arts program. In 1915, the club purchased Carl Oscar Borg's painting Egyptian Evening for US$125 and presented it to the city of Phoenix to begin a community art collection. In 1925, the State Fair Committee expanded its community responsibilities and formed the Phoenix Fine Arts Association.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

Arizona State Fair

The Arizona State Fair is an annual state fair, held at Arizona State Fairgrounds.

Carl Oscar Borg was a Swedish-born painter who settled in the United States and became known for views of California and the SouthWest.

The next major advance in the local art community came during 1936, when the Phoenix Art Center was created under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. Its director was the painter Philip C. Curtis. Its success led to the creation in 1940 of the Civic Center Association, which set about raising funds and planning a building on a 6.5-acre plot donated by the heirs of Adolphus Clay Bartlett. [4] These heirs included Maie Bartlett Heard, who with her husband Dwight B. Heard founded the Heard Museum. [5]

Works Progress Administration largest and most ambitious United States federal government New Deal agency

The Works Progress Administration was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. It was established on May 6, 1935, by Executive Order 7034. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. The four projects dedicated to these were: the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP), the Historical Records Survey (HRS), the Federal Theatre Project (FTP), the Federal Music Project (FMP), and the Federal Art Project (FAP). In the Historical Records Survey, for instance, many former slaves in the South were interviewed; these documents are of great importance for American history. Theater and music groups toured throughout America, and gave more than 225,000 performances. Archaeological investigations under the WPA were influential in the rediscovery of pre-Columbian Native American cultures, and the development of professional archaeology in the US.

Federal Art Project

The Federal Art Project (1935–43) was a New Deal program to fund the visual arts in the United States. Under national director Holger Cahill, it was one of five Federal Project Number One projects sponsored by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the largest of the New Deal art projects. It was created not as a cultural activity but as a relief measure to employ artists and artisans to create murals, easel paintings, sculpture, graphic art, posters, photography, theatre scenic design, and arts and crafts. The WPA Federal Art Project established more than 100 community art centers throughout the country, researched and documented American design, commissioned a significant body of public art without restriction to content or subject matter, and sustained some 10,000 artists and craft workers during the Great Depression.

Philip Campbell Curtis was an American painter best remembered for his surrealist-inspired style scenes often featuring figures in Victorian dress. He was called a "Magical Realist," and "Magritte of the Old West" by some writers.

An art exhibit with objects hanging from strings from the ceiling. Art exhibit at Phoenix art museum.JPG
An art exhibit with objects hanging from strings from the ceiling.

In the early 1950s, Alden Dow, an architect, was retained by the Board of Trustees to design a complex that would house the Phoenix Public Library, the Phoenix Little Theater (now the Phoenix Theatre) and the new Phoenix Art Museum. The structural engineering firm chosen for this project was Severud Associates. To coordinate this endeavor, the Phoenix Fine Arts Association named a new Board of Trustees in 1952 and the museum's first director, Forest M. Hinkhouse, in 1957. [6]

Phoenix Public Library municipal library system serving Phoenix, Arizona

The Phoenix Public Library is a municipal library system serving Phoenix, Arizona, and operated by the city of Phoenix. There are 16 branches currently in operation citywide, anchored by the flagship Burton Barr Central Library on the northern edge of downtown Phoenix. Four of the 16 locations were designed by prominent local architect Will Bruder: the Burton Barr central library, the Cholla branch location at Metrocenter Mall, the Mesquite branch at Paradise Valley Mall, and the Agave branch in far northwest Phoenix.

The Phoenix Theatre Company is a professional theatre company located in Phoenix, Arizona. Started in 1920 by a theatre troupe known as the Phoenix Players, the theatre is among the oldest continually operating theaters west of the Mississippi River. The theatre is a non-profit corporation and encompasses both the Mainstage and Hormel Theatre productions, as well as Partners That Heal and numerous community-focused programs.

Severud is a multinational structural engineering consulting firm headquartered in New York City, with additional offices in London and Paris. The firm has worked on over 12,000 projects around the world.

The museum opened on November 18, 1959, and was officially dedicated on November 21, 1959. Two years later, the board announced plans for an expansion, and in 1965 the museum was enlarged from 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) to 72,000 square feet (6,700 m2). Additional expansions, led by design architects Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects of New York, occurred in 1996. The Museum more than doubled its size with new exhibition galleries, a 300-seat public theater, a research library, studio classroom facilities, the PhxArtKids Gallery, and a café. Most recently, in 2006, the museum saw the opening of the Ellen and Howard C. Katz Wing for Modern Art, the Heather and Michael Greenbaum Museum Lobby, an expanded museum store and the 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) Bennett and Jacquie Dorrance Sculpture Garden. The museum's growth has been funded, in part, by successful City of Phoenix Bond Elections and a voter-approved bond. [7]

In the last 50 years, the Museum has hosted more than 400 exhibitions from all over the world, grown the collection to more than 18,000 works of art, and been visited by millions. [8]


Young couple examining a painting. Young couple looking at painting Phoenix Art museum.JPG
Young couple examining a painting.
Artist Werner Segarra in front of one of his photographic creations. Artist Werner Segarra standing in front of one of his photographic works with reflections of museum guests in reflection.JPG
Artist Werner Segarra in front of one of his photographic creations.
Outdoor sculpture garden. View of Phoenix Art museum outdoor garden area.JPG
Outdoor sculpture garden.
One of the main exhibition rooms. Phoenix young couple looking at artwork at Phoenix Art museum.JPG
One of the main exhibition rooms.

In addition to an annual calendar of exhibitions, the Museum’s permanent collection galleries are drawn from more than 19,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. Visitors also enjoy photography exhibitions through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona.

The Museum has European paintings by Ubertini, Girolamo Genga, Guercino, Carlo Dolci, Bernardo Strozzi, Marcellius Coffermans, Jacob Cornelisz, Master of Astorga, Bartolomeus Bruyn the Elder, Nicolas Lepicie, Giovanni Piazzetta, Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun, Antoine Vestier, George Romney, Camille Corot, Hippolyte Delpy, Eugène Boudin, Jean-Léon Gérôme ("Thumbs Up"), Claude Monet ("Garden Arches, Giverny"), Max Beckmann, Leon Portau, Eduard Villard, and Pablo Picasso. [9] It has American paintings by Gilbert Stuart, Sanford Gifford, Robert Henri, Ernest Lawson, Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jonas Lie, Lew Davis, Ernest Blumenschein, Joseph Sharp, Howard Post, and Ed Mell. [10] It has contemporary art by Yayoi Kusama ("You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies") [11] , Viola Frey, Kehinde Wiley, Carlos Amorales ("Black Cloud") [12] , and Helen Frankenthaler. [13] It has 20th Century Sculpture by Aristide Maillol, Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Jacob Epstein, and Giacometti. [14]


The museum offers several educational programs. The museum's Education Division programming is segmented by audience and type of learning strategy to accommodate a range of ages and learning styles, both formal and informal.

The Education Division also facilitates a nationally competitive Internship program. Internships are offered to current undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates with requisite coursework, experience, and background. The program is offered year-round and project-based internships are also offered on occasion.

Lemon Art Research Library

The Lemon Art Research Library is a non-circulating research library with an emphasis on the museum's art collection. It contains more than 40,000 books, periodicals, artist files and more. It is the largest specialized fine arts library in the region. It is free of charge during public hours.


Community support accounts for approximately 80% of the museum’s revenue through admissions, membership and earned revenue, which includes the store and facility rentals. Government support of the museum is approximately 3% of the budget; corporate contributions constitute approximately 10% of the budget. The Museum's endowment contributes the remainder, approximately 7%.[ citation needed ]

See also

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  1. 1 2 Phoenix Art Museum: About, ARTINFO, 2008, retrieved 2008-07-24[ permanent dead link ]
  2. Lengel, Kerry (November 17, 2014). "Phoenix Art Museum names new director". Arizona Republic . Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  3. "Communications Office Points of Pride". Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  4. "History and Mission". About Us. Phoenix Art Museum. Archived from the original on 2017-10-06. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  5. "History of the Heard Museum". Heard Museum . Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  6. Phoenix Art Museum : collection highlights. Komanecky, Michael., Ballinger, James K., Phoenix Art Museum. New York: Harry N. Abrams in association with Phoenix Art Museum. 2002. ISBN   0810932458. OCLC   48957880.
  7. "History and Mission". Phoenix Art Museum. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  8. "History and Mission". Phoenix Art Museum. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  10. "Phoenix Art Museum American Collection". Phoenix Art Museum. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  11. "Yayoi Kusama at Phoenix Art Museum". Phoenix Art Museum. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  12. "Carlos Amorales at Phoenix Art Museum". Phoenix Art Museum. Retrieved 2018-07-12.