On Display: Special Exhibits at the Phoenix Art Museum This Summer

Taking us through the end of summer are four wonderfully varied exhibits at the Phoenix Art Museum, including photographs by the great Ansel Adams, textiles from Southeast Asia, images from contemporary American photographers, and 1940s fashion ensembles.

Through June 6, visitors to the museum have the opportunity to view the “Ansel Adams: Discoveries” exhibit in the Steele Gallery. Showcasing 120 photographs along with video footage, documents of correspondence, equipment, proof prints, alternate views, negatives, and portraits of the photographer himself, the exhibit will grant visitors a unique opportunity to learn more about the man who was Ansel Adams. There is also a chronological element to the exhibit, in order to guide guests through the artist’s life and developments in his craft and career; the five divisions of the exhibit are: “A Time: Early Work,” “A Place: American Southwest,” “A Medium: Color,” “A Theme: Environment,” and “A Role: Teaching.”

Through June 27, see the “Exposing Time” exhibit in the Norton Photography Gallery, which aims to showcase the powerful ways in which photography can be used to document change. Through the lenses of five contemporary American photographers – Frank Gohlke, Nicholas Nixon, Andrew Phelps, Milton Rogovin, and Robert Weingarten – guests experience the different approaches each has taken toward revealing the progression of time.

Through July 4, located in the Lewis Gallery, is the colorful display titled “Sumatra: Textiles from the Collection of Dr. Thomas J. Hudak.” The exhibit provides glimpses into the 4,000-year-old traditional cloth-making methods of Southeast Asia, presented as a collection of textiles from Sumatra, the largest island of Indonesia and a region with a rich and storied history related to worn artifacts and wearable art. Expect to see vibrantly colored silk sarongs, shawls ,and shoulder wraps, historically significant “ship cloths,” which were representative of social status and given as gifts in ceremonial exchanges; intricately embroidered skirts, and more.

Through August 15, articles of 1940s fashion will be available for viewing in the exhibit “In the Mood” in the Ellman Fashion Design Gallery. The installation will include more than 35 ensembles, including pieces by Adrian, Irene, Claire McCardell and Howard Greer, the famous “Rosie the Riveter” work wear, and even dresses made from repurposed parachute material. Overall, the exhibit offers visitors an interesting look into the lives of Americans during WWII and the role of women and fashion during wartime.

The Phoenix Art Museum is located at 1625 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix (602) 257-1222