Season Preview: Local and International Artwork Comes to Phoenix Art Museum

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​Summer's cool in the galleries of Phoenix Art Museum, where exhibitions are open to the public daily (and for free on First Fridays and with a culture pass). There are just a few weeks left to check out what's currently on view, and a just a few weeks left until the museum unveils another collection of world-class artwork.

Check out what to see now and what to get excited about below ... 

What to check out now

Théâtre de la Mode 

is what happens when miniature couture meets elaborate theatrical sets. The original collection of outfits presented by France's premiere couturiers premiered in Paris right after World War II. The sets were created by the best theatre designers in the city and the mannequins were made to half-human scale; the garment industry may have been short of resources but not of ideas. The collection toured the world and on display until July 31 are three restored sets of the original twelve. 

Pure Photography, Post Production and Mixed Media 

​Throughout the history of photography, the purpose of the negative image has been a point of heated contention. Some photographers believe that the negative is sacred, not to be tampered with or altered in any way. They hold that the photographer's skill is reflected in his or her ability to create the perfect picture with no processing besides development.

His collection of photographs is a unique look not just at the marvel of the bridge itself but at the American West, the manifestation of a powerful, progressive and enterprising place. The photos will be on display starting August 13.

Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks 

Here is a chance for you to experience the iconic images of one of America's greatest photographers. Gordon parks worked between 1945 and 1970 capturing all facets of American life, from the plight of the black urban and rural poor, to the fashion and fun of high society. From Harlem gang leaders, to the Black Muslims, to haute couture, Parks' camera was turned to every definitive characteristic of mid-century life with all of its dignity, suffering, courage, and flare. Check it out beginning August 20.

Long term plans

Rebecca Campbell and Angela Ellsworth 

Paintings, sculptures, and installations by two artists who grew up within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Utah. Campbell's painting are large, emotional, figurative canvases powerfully capturing children and adults. One of Ellsworth's most compelling works is Seer Bonnets: A Continuing Offense - a meditation on the nine wives of her great-great-grandfather, the fifth prophet of the Mormon Church. Starts September 3.

Giorgio di Sant'Angelo 

The first Museum retrospective to showcase the talents of this influential American designer. The Fashion Design Collection's show consists of over 40 of Sant'Angelo's ensembles and accessories, spanning the period from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. According to Fashion Design Curator Dennita Sewell, "Sant' Angelo was an artist with the exceptional ability to see beyond the established fashion norms, creating designs that were revolutionary in every sense....This exhibition brings to new light the magnitude of Sant' Angelo's influence and his continued impact on fashion designers and stylists working today." The designer's clothes showed an eclectic mix of influence from his own Latin roots to Native American culture. Of note is also his pioneering use of stretch fabrics. Check out this unique collecting beginning September 17.

Ray Wielgus: The Art of Engraved Firearms

Check out these guns! Tucson-based artist Ray Wielgus (1920-2010) put a modern spin on the ancient art of firearm decoration, working especially with antiques featuring ivory grips and inlaying them with gold. Starts September 24.

The West Select, A New Western Classic 

Satisfy your desire to view all things Western at this first-ever exhibition uniting some of the newest and most noteworthy work focused on our cowboy and Indian past, our crazy rock formations, and our deserts' unique wildlife. The American West has long inspired artists with its boundless, renegade spirit and here is your chance to experience our generation's relationship with this wild, wild muse in a variety of mediums ranging from sculpture to photography. The exhibition opens its doors on October 23.

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