Capture the Passion for the Sea with a Virtual Stroll through the Galleries at PhxArt

Phoenix Art Museum

Enjoy a virtual stroll through the galleries featuring a range of works from across all areas of the PhxArt collection that capture our passion for the sea.

Untitled by Franklin De Haven, American, 1856 – 1934; Date: 1892; Medium: watercolor

See the sea.
“But what sea?…Says yes, then no, then no again.”
Pablo Neruda, “Ode to the Sea”

From the dawn of humanity, the sea, encompassing more than three-quarters of the globe, has drawn us, formed us, shaped us, inspired us. It is the subject of artworks from nearly every culture around the world, which have deified the forces thought to control its tides and honored its power to both create empires and level cities. While most of us continue to take shelter in the Valley of the Sun, enjoy a virtual visit to the seaside, with works of art, and so much more, designed to let your imagination sail away.

Emperor and Empress (late 19th- and early 20th century), Japan

Deep Looking | Island Nation
For this week’s deep looking activity, we visit Japan, an island nation composed of nearly 7,000 islands, of which only a little more than 6% are occupied. As a maritime nation, the ocean plays a major influence on the diet, economy, lifestyle, art, and culture of Japan. We’ve asked Janet Baker, PhD, our curator of Asian art, to examine three sea-themed Japanese woodblock prints from the Museum’s collection. Keep scrolling to learn more.

Dress (Vestido) by Monique Lhuillier, born 1971 (Designer); Date: spring 2013; Medium: silk

Sea-Inspired: Fashion
Romantic notions of the sea, from the creatures that dwell within its depths to the ships that traverse the globe, have influenced our collective imaginations throughout human history. This is perhaps most apparent in the inspiration that fashion designers and makers have drawn from ocean-faring life, integrating color palettes, organic forms, marine materials, and even the uniforms of mariners into their works. In 2012, Phoenix Art Museum explored these themes in its exhibition The Sea, curated by Dennita Sewell, the Museum’s Dorrance Curator Emerita of Fashion Design, which surveyed everything from historical seaside dress to contemporary haute couture, sailor-inspired loungewear to pearl-encrusted evening gowns. Explore a few examples here that illustrate fashion’s enduring love affair with idyllic visions of the sea.

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