The Phoenix Art Museum is home to more than 17,000 works of art – ranging from the classical to the contemporary, with influences from around the world. Since opening in 1959, the museum has grown to become one of the largest visual art institutions in Southwest America. Today, its 26,500 square metres of exhibition space make it a great destination for visitors of all ages.
The museum is divided into separate collections covering pieces from different geographical regions and celebrating different media. For an insight into the cultural history of the local area, head to the Western American department. Works by European masters such as Monet and Picasso can be found in the European section alongside those of less well known artists.
One of the great things about this museum is that the art is not just sitting on the walls – visit the sculpture department to get a 3D impression of art. The fashion exhibition is always popular, featuring everything from 18th-century military uniforms to couture gowns by Dior. The Asian collection hosts authentic samurai weapons as well as ceramics and sculpture.
Kids will love visiting the Phoenix Museum of Art, as there are so many programmes designed just for them. Scavenger Hunts are laid out around the museum to spark their interest in the art, and KidPacks are available to give them the information they want. There is even a specialist PhxArtKids Gallery, where they can learn about art and colour in an accessible and interesting way. Teenagers aren’t forgotten – the museum puts on special activities just for them on Wednesdays and Fridays.
For an alternative entertainment experience, head to the museum’s on-site art-house cinema, enjoy the beautiful gardens and round off your day with an organic treat in the café.
To get to the museum, follow North Central Avenue from central Phoenix. The museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays. Children under 6 get in free of charge, as does everyone else late on Wednesdays and the first Friday night of every month, although donations are always welcome.
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