Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum and City of Phoenix to implement sprinkler system renovations throughout 2018 and 2019

Phoenix Art Museum and City of Phoenix to implement sprinkler system renovations throughout 2018 and 2019

May, 31, 2018

Phoenix Art Museum and City of Phoenix to implement sprinkler system renovations throughout 2018 and 2019

The Museum will stagger closures of some galleries and event spaces to allow vital system updates

PHOENIX (May 31, 2018) – During 2018 and 2019, Phoenix Art Museum will work in collaboration with the City of Phoenix to execute a series of renovations to the Museum’s emergency fire sprinkler systems. In light of the flood damage suffered by Burton Barr Library in 2017 due to malfunctioning systems, the City has prioritized the undertaking of sweeping efforts to ensure that major public and private institutions city-wide maintain up-to-date emergency technologies. Closures of Museum spaces to accommodate the renovations will take place on a staggered schedule over approximately 12 months, allowing the Museum to keep a maximum number of gallery spaces open at all times and ensure a positive and enriching guest experience.

“Phoenix Art Museum looks forward to this vital collaboration with the City of Phoenix,” said Amada Cruz, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to protect our visitors and preserve our collection in case of an emergency. These renovations are in the best interest of our entire community and the artworks held in the public trust, and we are grateful for the support we have received from the City of Phoenix.”

Originally constructed in the 1950s and renovated in 1996 by renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the Museum’s building is owned and partially maintained by the City of Phoenix. Before the city-wide renovations began in 2017, the Museum was already in the process of routine maintenance of its emergency fire sprinkler system. Thanks to the City’s additional support, the Museum is now able to complete what would have been at least a five-year process in a condensed schedule of approximately 12 months. The renovations will also include an upgrade to the pipe technology utilized in the Museum’s galleries, which will help slow corrosion and extend the life of the system significantly.

Gallery closures for 2018 and 2019 have been scheduled for the following dates. Please note that dates may be approximate, and additional closures may occur.

2018 Closures:

  • May 21 – June 22 | The Steele Gallery
  • June 11 – July 13 | Kelly Ellman Fashion Design and Orme Lewis galleries
  • June 18 – June 29 | James K. Ballinger Interactive Gallery (The Hub)
  • July 23 – September 8 | Cummings Great Hall
  • November 12 – December 28 | Jonathan and Maxine Marshall and Jan and Howard Hendler galleries

2019 Closures:

  • April 1 – June 28 | Ellen and Howard C. Katz Wing for Modern Art, first floor (Paul and Merle Marcus Atrium and Lorenz and Joan Anderman, The Dawn and David Lenhardt, and The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation galleries)
  • July 1 – August 20* | Heather and Michael D. Greenbaum Lobby**
  • July 1 – August 30* | Ellen and Howard C. Katz Wing for Modern Art, third floor (Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography and Laurie and Drew Brown and Men’s Arts Council galleries)

For interviews or to request more information about these gallery closures, contact Margaree Bigler, the Museum’s public relations and digital communications manager, by calling 602.257.2105 or emailing

*Dates are approximate and subject to change.

**Entrance to the Museum through Greenbaum Lobby will still be permitted. Access may be partially restricted.

About Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum has provided access to visual arts and educational programs in Arizona for nearly 60 years and is the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions are shown alongside the Museum’s permanent collection of more than 19,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents festivals, a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed to enlighten, entertain, and stimulate visitors of all ages. Visitors also enjoy vibrant photography exhibitions through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum,, or call 602.257.1880.

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