"Fashion is my passion. Someone might be intimidated by looking at some European masterpieces or they don't understand contemporary art, but I am hoping that the fashion design department will draw people, in particularly the youth. Clothing is not a scary, unfamiliar subject matter."— Kelly Ellman
With over 600 items donated and the creation of an endowment that supports the care and research of the collection, Kelly Ellman’s contributions to the fashion design collection have been among the most significant in its history. Working with Museum staff, she has propelled forward and strengthened the Museum's ability to educate our 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 whimsical sensibility.
From 19th century automobile dusters to 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 accesories 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. Because she is from Arizona, she has focused her energy on Phoenix Art Museum's fashion collection, reinforcing her belief in its educational value in her community.
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Media images: Coming soon
Press Release: Coming soon
Media Contact: Casey Christiansen, Fashion Program & Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Header: Yves Saint Laurent, Dress, 2006. Silk crepe. Gift of Mrs. Kelly Ellman. Photo by Ken Howie.