With more than 600 items donated, Kelly Ellman’s contributions to the Phoenix Art Museum‘s fashion design collection have been among the most significant in its history. Working with museum staff, she has strengthened the museum’s ability to educate the community through fashion design. Through her own honed editorial eye along with the dedication she has put into learning about the museum’s collection and its specific needs, Ellman has sought out works that fill gaps in the collection or make an important point in an exhibition. Eye on Fashion: The Kelly Ellman Collection provides a unique look at fashion history through Ellman’s own sensibility.
From 19th century automobile dusters and World War II parachute clothing to the latest Chanel ensembles, the works featured in the exhibition and those that Ellman has donated over the past two decades range across the breadth of the collection. Whimsical accessories are a particular passion of Ellman‘s, as she appreciates how they uniquely complete a look. Ellman has also searched for and donated countless books and magazines for the fashion section of the museum’s Lemon Art Research Library. Her detailed and dedicated work has nearly completed the library’s holdings of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, making Phoenix Art Museum a unique resource for fashion scholarship and research.
Since its founding in 1966, many people have come together to create and support the formation of a world-class fashion collection in Phoenix. As one of those leaders, Ellman joins the ranks of visionary collectors that fostered the establishment and growth of fashion collections in museums in Europe and the United States, primarily since the 1930s. Being from Arizona, she has focused her energy on Phoenix Art Museum‘s fashion collection, reinforcing her belief in its educational value in her community.
Eye On Fashion: The Kelly Ellman Collection
Dec. 3, 2016 – Feb. 26, 2017
Phoenix Art Museum, Ellman Fashion Design Gallery
1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix