ACI Unveils Geoffrey Beene Archive
Virtual event raises funds for
Phoenix Art Museum’s fashion collection
Text and Images Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum

Above: Behind the scenes of Geoffrey Beene: A Duet of Fashion and Movement. Manley Films production and photograph. 

Phoenix Art Museum and Arizona Costume Institute, a Museum affiliate group that supports the institution’s fashion-design collection, presented Geoffrey Beene: A Duet of Fashion and Movement, the virtual unveiling of the new Geoffrey Beene Archive at Phoenix Art Museum, on February 11, 2021. The virtual fundraiser—co-chaired by Perrine Adams, Ruby Farias, Laura Madden and Kelley Sucher—engaged nearly 600 guests and raised more than $133,000 of vital support for the Museum’s fashion-design exhibitions, acquisitions, educational programs and archival preservation.  

Above, top left: Kathie May, President (2019-2020), Arizona Costume Institute. Top right: Tim Rodgers, Ph.D., the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO, Phoenix Art Museum. Bottom: Deanna McBrearty, former dancer, New York City Ballet, and longtime Geoffrey Beene model.

“We are deeply grateful to the board of Arizona Costume Institute and its members for their ongoing generous support of Phoenix Art Museum,” says Tim Rodgers, Ph.D, the Museum’s Sybil Harrington Director and CEO. “ACI continues to play a pivotal role in building the Museum’s renowned fashion-design collection, which now includes the newly established Geoffrey Beene Archive. We extend our thanks to the planning committee of dedicated ACI members who organized this superb event and to our benefactors and community for supporting this landmark moment in our institution’s history. We also extend special gratitude to Patsy Tarr, whose donation of nearly 400 garments serves as the foundation of our expansive Beene Archive.” 

Above, left: Helen Jean, the Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design, Phoenix Art Museum. Right: Patsy Tarr, founding contributor to the Geoffrey Beene Archive at Phoenix Art Museum, president of the2wice Arts Foundation, and founder of 2wice magazine and books.

To view the presentation, CLICK HERE 

Attendees of the virtual event enjoyed the world premiere of a short film created by the Museum in collaboration with Phoenix-based Manley Films that closely examines 25 works from the Beene Archive and explores the sense of movement and artistry inherent in the late designer’s work. 

The evening also featured Patsy Tarr, founding contributor to the Beene Archive at Phoenix Art Museum, president of the 2wice Arts Foundation, and founder and publisher of 2wice magazine and books; a dance homage by former dancer for the New York City Ballet and longtime Beene model Deanna McBrearty; and a conversation between McBrearty and Doug Varone, choreographer for three runway presentations of Beene’s collections, which featured dancers from the School of American Ballet and the New York City Ballet. 

Above: Behind the scenes of Geoffrey Beene: A Duet of Fashion and Movement. Manley Films production and photograph. 

In addition to the Beene film and featured speakers, the evening included messages from Rodgers, Helen Jean, the Museum’s Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design, and Kathie May, president of Arizona Costume Institute. The event also engaged students from local high schools and colleges by inviting them to participate in a Geoffrey Beene-inspired style and design contest. Attendees of the event were encouraged to vote for their favorite designs, and all student participants received recognition for their outstanding work. 

A Duet of Fashion and Movement, which additionally featured a style-focused raffle and silent auction, replaced the annual ACI Holiday Luncheon, which has been postponed to December 6, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and raises vital funds each year in support of the Museum’s fashion-design program. 

Above: Behind the scenes of Geoffrey Beene: A Duet of Fashion and Movement. Manley Films production and photograph. 

About the Geoffrey Beene Archive at Phoenix Art Museum 

The Geoffrey Beene Archive at Phoenix Art Museum features more than 400 garments by the late designer, more than 350 of which were donated in 2019 to the Museum by Patsy Tarr, president of the 2wice Arts Foundation and founder and publisher of 2wice magazines and books.

Spanning the 1980s through the 1990s, Tarr’s gift of custom-made ensembles and accessories, including jumpsuits, trousers, vests, boleros, gowns, collars and more, established the Museum as one of the nation’s leading institutions with holdings of Beene’s designs.

For more information, visit www.phxart.org