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Featuring American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, photography and fashion design, the Phoenix Art Museum takes care of Southwest?s largest collection of visual arts gathered from almost around the world. The museum opened in 1959 also as a community center that stages a year-round program of festivals, live acts, independent art films and educational programs.

The Phoenix Art Museum?s history dates back from 1912 when the Phoenix Women?s Club was established, soon after the creation of Arizona as the 48th state, with a primary task to develop a fine arts program under the command of Arizona State Fair Committee. Three years after, the club convinced the city of Phoenix to create a community art collection by presenting a Carl Oscar Borg?s painting called ?Egyptian Evening?. The art community came into existence and in 1925 State Fair Committee formed the Phoenix Fine Arts Association to help with the growing needs of the art program. Through the sponsorship of the then Works Progress Administration in 1936, the Phoenix Art Center was founded and was considered to be a major advancement in the local art community.

Along with the growth of the city of Phoenix, the need for better cultural facilities arose. Thankfully, the prominent Heard family donated a piece of land at the corner of Central Avenue and McDowell Road to accommodate such necessity. Ultimately, this area became the heart of the Phoenix?s Civic Center due to the construction of Phoenix Public Library, the Phoenix Little Theater (now the Phoenix Theatre) and the new Phoenix Art Museum.

Just two years after its opening on November 21, 1959, the directors of the Phoenix Art Museum announced its plan for expansion. The plan was initiated in 1965 and from 25,000 square feet, the museum grew to 72,000 square feet of exhibit space with a collection of more than 18,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, paper works, ancient tomb figures, delicate ink paintings, samurai armor, Chinese ceramics, cloisonn? enamel, Japanese prints and screens, Indian sculpture, miniature paintings, Buddhist art, Fashion Collection and photographs put together from different parts of the world.

Other attractions in the museum are the galleries for the Art of Philip C. Curtis, which houses the collection of works by this prominent Arizona artist and founder of Phoenix Art Museum; Thorne Miniature Rooms, which features miniature replica of historic American, English, French and Italian interiors; and the PhxArtKids, an interactive gallery designed for families and children.
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