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May Culture Pass Spotlight: Phoenix Art Museum

May Culture Pass Spotlight: Phoenix Art Museum

May Culture Pass Spotlight:
Phoenix Art Museum

In terms of the top places to visit as a tourist in the Phoenix area, there are few short lists that do not include the Phoenix Art Museum. Touted as the largest art museum in the Southwestern United States, it includes any number of temporary exhibitions and permanent collections that showcase a wide breadth of artistic modalities and histories. Aside from more famous pieces such as Monet’s Giverny and Yayoi Kusama’s immersive infinity mirror room, You Who are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies, the collection which currently stands at over 20,000 pieces features “American and Western American art, Latin American art, Asian art, European art, modern and contemporary art, fashion design, and photography.” These nine main areas of the collection span many “cultures, media, and periods, enriching [the] community through unparalleled access to fine art and related programs.”

Making art accessible to all is what Act One is all about, so when I learned about the popularity of one of the newer exhibits at Phoenix Art Museum, Barbie: A Cultural Icon, I was excited about exploring the intersection of pop culture and art; in this case, fashion. PAM has had a long history of showcasing the art of fashion design, and Barbie is no exception. The Power of Pink, an exhibition that shows the history of the color pink through the lens of fashion design history, from the 17th century to modern times, is presented “in conversation” with the Barbie exhibition. Barbie: A Cultural Icon shows visitors that art is not just paintings and sculpture but can be found in other aspects of life as well, such as a famous and iconic child’s toy. The Barbie exhibition closes July 7 of this year, so if you have not yet had a chance to see it, time is of the essence.

The Phoenix Art Museum’s newest exhibition, Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980s, showcases pieces by artists from Central-Eastern European countries during the Soviet Occupation of the 20th Century. This exhibition will be open until September 15 of this year. This month, Larry Bell: Improvisations will open on the third floor in the Katz Wing and will showcase his collages and glass sculptures. Additionally, on June 12th, The Collection: American Modern, a showcase of artists from the first half of the 20th century who “used abstraction and experimentation to spark new perceptions of modernity and novel modes of expression,” will open on the lower level of the Katz Wing.

Art museums’ constantly rotating exhibitions allow past visitors to return for a completely different experience and the Phoenix Art Museum is no exception. I personally make a point to return annually at minimum and encourage any supporter of visual and immersive arts experiences to do the same. It is easy to visit PAM with the Act One Culture Pass, available for checkout at all Central Arizona program member libraries (including every public library in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area). There are also a number of opportunities that PAM itself provides to the community to experience their collections for free. For more information, visit their Free to See page here: Visit for more information and a map that can help you find your closest Culture Pass program member library.
1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004 | 602.257.1880

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