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Phoenix Art Museum
art museum in Phoenix, Arizona
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Phoenix Art Museum
art museum in Phoenix, Arizona
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1625 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona
United States

Contributor

As if a few hours spent in air-conditioning during an Arizona summer weren't reason enough to drop by the Phoenix Art Museum, the oasis of culture in the Southwestern desert boasts over 18,000 works and has something for everyone.

Bring the wee ones by for a family-friendly adventure in the hands-on kid’s gallery. Great for the art-loving mom who doesn’t want to worry about her toddler leaving peanut-butter handprints on the Rembrandts.  Or send the older kids on one of the museum’s scavenger hunts, so Mom and Dad can enjoy a much-needed drink at the museum bar, then take a look at some grown-up art with a healthy buzz. 

The museum’s collection features one of Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington portraits (if you aren’t aware of Stuart’s impact on American iconography take a look at that $1.00 bill in your pocket and you’ll get a rough idea).  One can also find works by Southwest favorite and unofficial North American labia painter Georgia O’Keeffe; a fashion collection of 4,500 garments; and the largest specialized fine arts library in the region, which is free to bookworms during museum hours. 

A fun addition to the grounds is Chinese sculptor Sui Jianguo’s Jurassic Age, which claims to be a commentary on China’s emergence as a commercial power, but is basically just a giant toy dinosaur in a cage…and what’s not to love.  But the gem of the collection may be Frida Kahlo’s The Suicide of Dorothy Hale, one of only a handful of her works accessible to the public in the USA. Most are in Mexico City or in private collections (Madonna has one in her greedy 1% clutches).

If dead presidents, giant dinosaurs and thinly veiled vagina metaphors aren’t your thing, check out their first class film program.  In any given season you can find a wide variety of rarely screened films and theatre, from a radical West End revival of A Streetcar Named Desire (2014), which stars X-Files nerd sex symbol Gillian Anderson, to their ongoing Western series, with cult cowboy classics such as Johnny Guitar (1954) and Two-Lane Blacktop (1971).

So if you’re a parent craving a stress-free afternoon of culture, an art lover, film and theatre buff, or none of the above: avoid the mall and come to the Phoenix Art Museum to escape that desert heat.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about 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.

It has been designated a Phoenix Point of Pride.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Phoenix Art Museum.