A world-class institution situated in the bustling desert metropolis, Phoenix Art Museum has opened its doors to visitors for 60 years. The comprehensive collections and exhibitions have offered meaningful moments of learning and connection since it first began operation. The museum was designed by prolific architect Alden B. Dow, showcasing artwork from all across the world that dates back to 1959 when it first opened.
The museum was founded in 1951 and is the largest private non-collecting institution of American art in the southwest United States. With over 30,000 square feet of space, it showcases more than 1,500 works from 1900 to present day by acclaimed artists including Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Georgia O’Keeffe. The museum also offers a variety of education programs for students that range from elementary school age to adults.
In addition to exhibitions at its main building on Central Avenue near Van Buren Street, the museum operates two satellite locations: one at Scottsdale Civic Center Library and another at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
About The Phoenix Art Museum
Their mission is to ignite imaginations, create connections with artworks, and serve as a space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art.
The Phoenix Art Museum has an important goal: it wants everyone in Arizona to be able to connect through its work of arts. Through exhibits that give insight into different cultures around the world or bring up compelling stories from history; many individuals can gain new perspectives about how they navigate their lives while also having fun at the same time!
The Largest Art Museum in the Southwest United States
The Phoenix Art Museum is a mecca for all those who love art. You can explore the museum’s collection of over 18,000 objects including American, Latin American, and Western works as well as Asian and European pieces that date back to ancient times with exhibits showcasing Modern or Contemporary styles. It has been a home to many festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs since 1959.
The Phoenix Art Museum has nine different galleries of art. The first floor houses the Asian collection, which is part of their extensive and prestigious permanent gallery that includes European art on the second floor and American works from every region in America on other floors throughout this huge museum’s space!
9 Galleries of Art at the First Floor
- Western American
- Latin American
- Fashion design
Highlights of the Phoenix Art Museum
- Pollice Verso by Jean-Léon Gérôme
- Flowering Arches, Givernry by Claude Monet
- Ormolu Centerpiece by Pierre Philippe Thomire
- Beach at Honfleur by Eugène Boudin
- St. Margaret of Antioch by Jacob Cornelisz. Van Oostsanen
- Madonna Enthroned with Christ Child and Saints by Girolamo Genga
- Roses and Landscape by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- Madame Lucy Hessel Working at a Dressmaker’s Table by Édouard Vuillard
- St. Sebastian by Abraham Jansse
- The Thorne Rooms located on the second floor of Phoenix Art Museum are another highlight in the museum. These miniatures replicate architectural and interior design from 20 American and European rooms at a 1:12 scale, making them quite an impressive sight to see. The fashion design collection is also housed here with pieces by Chanel, Christian Dior, as well as others which showcase historic dresses or accessories.
- Complex architecture and interior design come to life in miniature
- The fashion exhibition is perfect for all hobbyists and professionals alike
- Classic pieces on display by Chanel, Christian Dior, and more
- Discover the history of fashion design and architecture
- A creative escape from reality with each miniature room
- The museum’s most intriguing piece, “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies” by Yayoi Kusama is an immersive work using LED lights to create a feeling of infinity. Visitors can feel like they’re getting lost in another dimension while still remaining physically present with others surrounding them at all times.
The Phoenix Art Museum offers one-hour docent-led tours, or self-guided audio tours available in English and Spanish for those who prefer it that way, as well as other options like selfie stations where visitors can take pictures with their favorite works!
Affordable Admission Fees
The Phoenix Art Museum is the perfect place to go for families on a budget. Admission prices are very reasonable and you get so much bang for your buck!
- Adults are $18
- Seniors 65+ are $15
- Students w/ID are $13
- Kids Ages 6-17 are $9
They also offer volunteer donation days every Wednesday from 3-9, Friday 6-10 pm, and every Second Saturday 10 am -5 pm, and Second Sunday 12 pm- 5 pm. It’s imperative that you check with their website as well because hours change often depending on what day it falls under; especially during summer months when they extend those times until 9:00 PM Monday through Thursday evenings in July & August. To find out about their hours or pricing prior to your arrival on site be sure to check their website before you go.
Events and other Program Offerings
The Phoenix Art Museum offers a full calendar of events from classes to lectures. Yoga in the museum and mindfulness-based art courses are available for visitors, but registration is required due to limited space. Check their website ahead of time so that you don’t miss anything!
By Azwatchdog – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5816262
Before You Go
- On the first Friday of every month, Phoenix Art Museum is free from 3-7pm. They have live music and dance performances as well as art making activities before First Friday festivities start in downtown Phoenix at 7 pm.
- Pay what you can at the Phoenix Art Museum on Wednesday nights! Visit between 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and pay as much or little as you’d like for access to our exhibits, galleries, events, classes and more!
- When visiting the Phoenix Art Museum, taking photos is permitted for personal use. However, do not take photos of works on loan or those in the museum’s permanent collection because they are off-limits to photographers.
- A family guide is provided that includes suggested activities for kids, as well as art-based games and scavenger hunts.
- Phoenix Art Museum’s gift shop has a wide selection of art supplies, children’s gifts, and locally-made items. You can even purchase stylish décor or prints from famous artists without having to take the time for an extensive tour in order to do so.
- The Phoenix Art Museum’s cafe, Palette, serves salads and sandwiches for lunch as well as Sunday brunch. The patio overlooks the Dorrance Sculpture Garden with an Arizona wine or cocktail in hand.
How to Get There
On top of having an expansive collection, the Phoenix Art Museum is a great place to get out and explore downtown. It’s located right off I-10 in central Phoenix next to the theater district so there are plenty of things nearby if you want some food or entertainment after seeing art!
The museum has its own large parking lot that makes it easy for everyone coming from different areas around town. The convenient location means that whether you’re interested in going across the street afterwards or not, at least one destination will be worth your trip down Interstate 10!
- FROM THE NORTH: The Phoenix Art Museum is located on North Central Avenue. Take the freeway and exit at McDowell Road, going east until you reach Alvarado Street where you will make a left (north).
- FROM THE SOUTH: If you are traveling from the south on I-10, take 7th St and follow it until you reach Central Ave where turn right onto that street. The art museum will be located to your left after turning north off of McDowell Rd.”
- FROM THE WEST: Take I-10 east toward Tucson and exit at 7th Avenue. Keep left at the fork in the off ramp – turn left (north) onto 7th Avenue to McDowell Street,
- and then right (east) onto McDowell street until you reach Alvarado Street where it will be on your right hand side just past Central avenue.
- BY LIGHT RAIL: The closest stop to use it from is the Central/McDowell station.
There are a lot of things to do in Phoenix. But when you want something more than just the outdoor pleasures that this city has to offer, then we recommend checking out the Phoenix Art Museum! It is one of our favorite places and it’s not hard at all to see why once you take a look around. The museum hosts festivals, live performances, independent art films, educational programs – so if you like any or all of those activities then make sure to put them on your list for when you come visit next time!
What are you waiting for? Take a trip to this amazing place today!
Phoenix, Arizona is blessed to be the home of so many amazing museums. Here’s a short list of our favorites you should check out on your next visit:
- Phoenix Art Museum
- Heard Museum
- Musical Instrument Museum
- Arizona Science Center
- ASU Art Museum
- Children’s Museum of Phoenix
- Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
- OdySea Aquarium
- Hall of Flame Fire Museum
All of these wonderful museums are located just a short distance from our offices located at 7319 North 16th Street in Phoenix, Arizona! Stop by for a visit anytime!