Textile Destination – Phoenix
I just got back from a wonderful road trip through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. It was one of those rare trips when everything goes right – the hotels were quiet and clean, the food was delicious, and people were friendly everywhere we went. Even the weather cooperated.
We saw a wonderful mix of sights – everything from the ruins of an old fort on the Arizona border, to the Nuclear Testing Museum in Las Vegas. My favorite discovery was the Heard Museum in Phoenix, which is dedicated to Native American arts and cultures. I am most drawn to textiles, but in this museum I found inspiration in exhibits of all kinds.
Outside the museum is a sculpture of women with their traditional craftwork – not the most common subject in artwork, but one that strikes a chord with me!
Inside, we heard the welcome news that photography was allowed and encouraged. That always makes me so happy – I love to take pictures so that later I can study the details of the things I was most interested in.
My favorite exhibit was one on Hopi pottery, showcasing the work of pottery-making families. Another exhibit I loved was called Beyond Geronimo: The Apache Experience, showing objects from many different arts and crafts. Here are just a few of the things that I found inspiring.
And of course, you have to love a museum that has a sculpture of a girl and her goats!
Besides the fabulous collections, they had friendly guides and staff, TWO book stores, an art gallery, a coffee shop, a lovely shaded patio, and plenty of parking. If you ever get a chance, I would encourage you to go. If you can’t, I would suggest at least a virtual trip – visit their website to see more of their beautiful treasures.
I did have one huge disappointment on this trip. I wanted to tour the Phoenix Art Museum and see their noted historic clothing collection, but even though my 2009 guidebook said they would be open on a Tuesday, they weren’t, and that was the only day I could have gone. I have checked out their website though, and they have a nice fashion slide show representing their collection. (From what I see there, I’m thinking that if I could have actually gotten in to the museum, I might never have left!)