Arizona Costume Institute Unveils Incredible Geoffrey Beene Archive at Phoenix Art Museum

Posted By on March 18, 2021
Helen Jean, the Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design at Phoenix Art Museum, and Patsy Tarr, founding contributor to the Geoffrey Beene Archive at Phoenix Art Museum, discuss one of the beautifully tailored ensembles from the collection.

The Event: Geoffrey Beene: A Duet of Fashion and Movement

The Cause: Phoenix Art Museum and Arizona Costume Institute (ACI), a Museum affiliate group that supports the institution’s fashion-design collection.

Event Date: February 11, 2021

Event Co-Chairs: Perrine Adams, Ruby Farias, Laura Madden & Kelley Sucher

Dollars Raised: $133,000

The Collection: 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.

Notable Event Moments: The special virtual presentation included the premiere of a short film that closely examines 25 works from the Beene Archive and fascinating interviews with Patsy Tarr, longtime Beene model and New York City Ballet dancer Deanna McBrearty and Doug Varone, choreographer for three of Beene’s artistic runway presentations. The film was created by the Museum in collaboration with Phoenix-based Manley Films.

To watch the recorded broadcast, please click here.

Photos courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum & Manley Films

One of the more intricate garments in the Geoffrey Beene Archive
Doug Varone & Deanna McBrearty
Another glimpse into this extensive collection
Kathie May, Arizona Costume Institute President
This garment shows one of Beene’s favorite design elements, polka-dots.
Deanna McBrearty beautifully demonstrated her ability to dance freely in Beene’s garments throughout the film.
Details of a jumpsuit and jacket ensemble.
A bolero and cocktail dress from the collection.
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