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Phoenix Art Museum

Home > Phoenix > Art | Exhibitions | Fashion | Fun Things To Do | Museums
by Judy Karnia (subscribe)
I am a travel writer, life coach and forest therapy guide living in Scottsdale, AZ. Visit my website at
Published September 16th 2021
Unique art museum in downtown Phoenix
The Phoenix Art Museum provides a great cultural outing without overwhelming you. It offers an experience that is more unique and manageable than art museums in most large cities. Some of its specialties are photography, fashion, Asian art and western art.

The first gallery you approach houses special exhibitions, which rotate every few months and are always incredibly interesting. Currently, Fearless Fashion showcases designs by Rudi Gernreich. His innovative style especially influenced women's clothing in the '60s and 70's and still does today. The museum also has a permanent gallery that is dedicated to fashion as art and history. It features outfits that would be a dream to wear to a gala and others that you couldn't imagine anyone wearing if they were leaving their house.

Tucked into a corner of the third floor, the photography exhibit is always worth seeking out. The current exhibit, Freedom Must be Lived, with photos by Marion Palfi, typifies the gallery's spotlight on American culture. The photos in this gallery move and inform you.

Photography gallery
Freedom Must be Lived

The main permanent galleries reside on the second floor and span the typical art museum fare of European and American art. You will find sculptures by Giacometti and Rodin and abstracts and impressionist paintings by Monet and Toulouse-Lautrec. They are visually appealing and worth a look but not all that impressive. Be sure not to miss the twenty Thorne rooms. Designed by Narcissa Thorne in the 1930s, these exquisitely detailed miniature rooms depict historical décor.

The museum collection shines, however, when you visit American and western art. Landscapes from the 19th century portrayed the wide-open American West. Paintings and sculptures depict the native peoples and new arrivals. The Asian art exhibit also impresses with over 6000 pieces, including paintings, textiles, ceramics and artifacts.

John Coleman bronze

The Phoenix Art Museum is worth a visit for all art lovers. It differs in some ways from major art museums but features quite a few gems.

Asian Art
Asian Art gallery

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When: Thurs-Sun 10-5, Wed 10-7
Phone: 602-257-1880
Where: Downtown Phoenix, AZ
Cost: $23 for adults
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