Officially, the nickname of Phoenix, Arizona, is “Valley of the Sun.” And, depending upon whom you ask, you might also hear the metropolis referred to as “PHX,” “the 602,” “P-Town” or “Bird City.” But unofficially, given the number of exhibits, archives, institutions and galleries that populate the place, Phoenix would certainly be deserving of a different moniker: Museum City. Here are some examples of the many buildings dedicated to the study and preservation of art, culture and history throughout the area:
- Musical Instrument Museum – This unique space displays more than 6,500 instruments collected from around 200 of the world’s countries and territories. Most displays are enhanced by state-of-the-art audio and video technologies that allow guests to see the instruments, hear their sounds, and observe them being played in their original contexts – performances that are often as spectacular as the instruments themselves. What’s more, all guests are invited to play instruments from around the world in the Experience Gallery. They can also see instruments from music icons such as John Lennon, Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley, Carlos Santana and many more in the Artist Gallery.
- Heard Museum – Recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, its educational programming and its festivals, the Heard is dedicated to the sensitive and accurate portrayal of Native arts and cultures. It is an institution that successfully combines the stories of American Indian people from a personal perspective with the beauty of art. Through innovative programs, world-class exhibitions and unmatched festivals, the Heard sets the standard nationally for collaborating with Native people to present first-person voices. Partnerships with American Indian artists and tribal communities provide visitors with a distinctive perspective about the art and cultures of Native people, especially those from the Southwest.
- Children’s Museum of Phoenix – Acting on the principle that learning is a joy, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix’s mission is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school readiness. The museum fosters a joy of learning by providing engaging projects, exhibits and programming for young children and their families; educating parents and caregivers about child development and parenting techniques; and building cultural understanding and positive social interaction; and celebrating diversity.
- Phoenix Art Museum – An institution of exciting art and learning since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has become the largest art museum in the southwestern United States, providing access to art from all over the world. Throughout the year the museum presents festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs that enlighten, entertain and stimulate. Visitors may also enjoy the interactive PhxArtKids gallery; vibrant photography exhibitions through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography; and the lushly landscaped Dorrance Sculpture Garden.
- Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting – This museum has almost an acre of fire history exhibits, with more than 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1969. Most of the exhibits are American, but also included are pieces from England, France, Austria, Germany and Japan. The Hall of Flame sponsors the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which honors firefighters who have died in the line of duty or who have been decorated for heroism. The Hall also includes a gallery dedicated to the history of wildland firefighting in the United States.
- Arizona Science Center – A major institution of learning for families, teachers, students and other guests. Using an informal, hands-on approach to science exploration and inspiration, the Center has more than 164,000 square-feet of space, of which 98,000 is dedicated to exploration. Additional learning opportunities and services include outreach programs, focused field trips, camps, classes, to-the-moon and beyond presentation in the Dorrance Planetarium, immersive shows in the five-story IMAX® Theater and featured exhibitions.
- Martin Auto Museum – The history of America over the last 100+ years is the history of automobiles. Operated by a group of individuals dedicated to preserving the automobile and educating the public on its role in American history, the museum doesn’t so much collect automobiles as save and protect them so they will last for generations to come. It is an organization dedicated to the preservation of collectible and rare automobiles for education purposes, and as such, uses both its physical location and its virtual one to educate people of all ages.
- Rosson House Museum – A fully restored 1895 Queen Anne Victorian house museum which interprets the history of Phoenix. Tours of the house include all living areas and offer visitors a glimpse into the lifestyles of early Phoenix families. Docents lead visitors through the museum, telling the stories of the residents who lived there, the history of Territorial Arizona and interesting tidbits about Victorian America.
- Wells Fargo History Museum – A collection that demonstrates the financial corporation’s timeless strengths, and its commitment to the communities it serves. The Phoenix museum includes an authentic 19th century stagecoach, a replica stagecoach visitors can board, an interactive telegraph and an art gallery – with the largest public display of N.C. Wyeth’s western-themed work.
- Phoenix Zoo – Not a museum, per se, but a noteworthy collection nonetheless. Home to more than 1,400 animals, including 30 species that are endangered or threatened. From the tiniest of insects to the largest of animals, the zoo is proud to care for these great creatures.
Museums across Phoenix cover a broad array of subjects, offering plenty of incredible exhibits to visitors to enjoy. To plan your trip to Phoenix, or to any of our other 40+ dynamic destinations, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.