Phoenix Art Museum

Located in the capital of Arizona, the Phoenix Art Museum is the southwest US’ largest art museum. Established in 1959, the museum is home to historical, contemporary, modern, cultural and more different types of art. It displays over 19,000 pieces, from dozens of countries throughout the world. The Phoenix Art Museum is home to a permanent collection as well as a rotating calendar of unique exhibits that are only open for a few months of the year. In this post I’ll be writing an overall guide to this museum, with info on pretty everything you’d need to know about it before visiting.

Visitor Info

This museum is open everyday of the week except for Mondays, from 10am to 5pm. The only exceptions to this are that it is open until 10pm on the first Friday of each month, and opens at 12pm on Sunday. Admission to the museum is free for members and children under 18, and $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $13 for students. It is located north of downtown Phoenix, on Central Ave (1625 N. Central Ave).



With artifacts from all over the Asian continent, one of the Phoenix Art Museum’s most impressive collections is its Asian collection. It is located on the main level’s northwest section, with subsections for Buddhism, early East Asian art, later Chinese art, and Japanese art. Throughout these areas you’ll find pieces from India, Nepal, China, Korea, Sri Lanka, and more; as well as the museum’s oldest object. I really enjoyed looking through this area since I’m Asian and it was cool to see stuff from my own culture!


Defined as art made after the 1950s, this museum is home to a huge amount of contemporary style art. With tons of photography, sculptures, paintings, and more one of a kind art pieces, this collection is very interesting to look through and especially to take photos of. The museum’s contemporary art areas are found on the southern areas of each level of the museum, mostly on the main level.


The Phoenix Art Museum is home a total of over a thousand pieces from 14th to 19th century Europe, mostly located on the main and upper levels of the museum. From Germany to Italy, Classicism to Impressionism, and England to the Netherlands, this collection has a lot to offer in regards to European art.


Spread throughout all the galleries in the museum is the collective photography collection, made up of over 80,000 photos taken by 2,000 different photographers. From the Modern wing to the American wing, you’ll find photographs all throughout the museum.

Other Collections

Also found within the Phoenix Art Museum are the American, Fashion, Latin American, Modern and Western American collections.


Black Cloud – Carlos Amorales (Until 22 September 2019)

Inspired by the migration of monarch butterflies across North America, ‘Black Cloud’ is an “exhibit” of sorts made of 25,000 black paper butterflies. Located right at the entrance of the museum, it’s pretty hard to miss! Black Cloud was created by Carlos Amorales, one of the most famous Mexican artists of today. The exhibit is a great photo-op, and is really interesting to look at both from afar and up close.

You Who Are Getting Obliterated In The Dancing Swarm Of Butterflies – Yayoi Kusama (Until 30 June 2019)

Designed by Japanese artists Yayoi Kusama, this beautiful firefly exhibit takes influence from a Japanese folktale about a field of 10,000 fireflies. The exhibit itself is a huge, mirror-lined room decorated with strings of LED lights representing fireflies. It is really cool to walk through and look at while the lights change colours, and really fun to photograph. I thought it was especially cool to see since I had heard a ton about the ‘Infinity Mirrors’ exhibit at the AGO back in Toronto, which I didn’t get the chance to see before it left. This exhibit though is actually by the same artist, which is why I thought it was really fun to see!

That’s all for my guide to the Phoenix Art Museum, I hope you enjoyed! Just a reminder, if you don’t already, make sure to follow me on instagram (@hannahtravelsblog) for updates on my blog and new photos every few days.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. PW
    September 2, 2018

    The Butterfly piece is so impressive! I also loved the light exhibit when I went. Great photos, especially the last one!

    1. Hannah Travels
      September 5, 2018

      Thank you 🙂


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