Phoenix Art Museum is getting a blockbuster Barbie exhibit next year – Phoenix New Times

Phoenix Art Museum announced on Tuesday the arrival of a new blockbuster exhibition, “Barbie: A Cultural Icon,” set to open on Feb. 14, 2024.

In collaboration with leading global toy company Illusion Projects and Mattel Inc., the Barbie exhibit will be the first of its kind in Arizona, exploring over 60 years of the Barbie brand and the doll’s global impact on pop culture.

Visitors can expect to see over 250 vintage dolls, life-size fashion designs, exclusive interviews and narrative sections focusing on the trends, careers and personas Barbie has embodied throughout the years. The exhibition also features over 50 historical objects, video interviews with Barbie designers discussing five custom-made Barbie Dreamhouse TVs and offers unique photo opportunities, including an interactive, life-size Barbie Mirror Pink Corvette.

“For generations, Barbie has been a popular and prominent figure in our contemporary culture, reflecting the evolution of gender, identity, beauty, empowerment and success. Often influencing and shifting societal norms in tangible ways, Barbie has also been in step with trends throughout fashion history,” Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of the Phoenix Art Museum, said in a press release. “As an institution dedicated to the research, scholarship and exhibition of fashion design and one of only seven art museums in the United States with an active collecting focus, we remain dedicated to presenting exhibitions that offer new and exciting explorations of this incredible artform, including the intersections of couture and popular culture. We are excited to provide our visitors with a unique opportunity to examine Barbie within this context through ‘Barbie: A Cultural Icon.'”

The exhibition will be complemented by “The Power of Pink,” an original Phoenix Art Museum fashion-design exhibition showcasing the color’s history, science and associations with the Barbie brand. The exhibition examines the color’s origins and role in fashion dating back to 17th-century France and showcases its influence on major designers like Gianfranco Ferré, Christian Dior, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and more.

“Our presentation of ‘Barbie: A Cultural Icon’ offers a timely opportunity for us to draw upon our incredible fashion-design collection to explore Barbie’s favorite color,” Helen Jean, Phoenix Art Museum’s Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design, who curated “The Power of Pink,” said in a press release. “Just like Barbie, the color pink sparks conversations, and just like Barbie, pink is having its day in the spotlight. We look forward to considering the history, politics and science behind this popular yet polarizing color.”

“Barbie: A Cultural Icon” will continue through July 7, 2024. Admission is included with general admission for the museum.

Phoenix Art Museum is located at 1625 N. Central Ave. Call 602-257-1880 or visit the museum website for more information.

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