Phoenix Art Museum Receives First Major National Endowment for the Humanities Grant in Nearly a Decade

Photo: Marcia Ward / the Image Maker Denver. Eve Drewelowe, Crosses, Central City Colorado, 1940. Watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 in. Robert G. Lewis Collection. Courtesy of School of Art and Art History, University of Iowa. 

Phoenix Art Museum has been named the recipient of a $240,746 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the largest the museum has received from the NEH in the institution’s history and the first for the museum since 2012. The award provides support for the museum’s upcoming special-engagement exhibition Landscapes of Extraction: The Art of Mining in the American West, the latest major exhibition of Western American art organized by the museum.

“With this funding, the museum will be able to share with Arizona audiences a groundbreaking view on the history of the art of mining in our region through Landscapes of Extraction: The Art of Mining in the American West, which offers a nuanced look at how artists over the past 100 years have depicted mining scenes and reflected society’s evolving perspectives on the industry’s impact on western U.S. landscapes,” said Mark Koenig, the Interim Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum.

Opening on Nov. 7 in Steele Gallery, Landscapes of Extraction explores the modern evolution of mining imagery through more than 65 paintings and prints, illuminating how artists have interpreted and conveyed these landscapes of enterprise from the 1910s to the present as well as how  mining has altered the natural environment on a spectacular scale. The exhibition is organized by Phoenix Art Museum and curated by Betsy Fahlman, Ph.D., the museum’s adjunct curator of American art.

The grant was awarded to Phoenix Art Museum in support of the major exhibition as part of the American Rescue Plan that the U.S. Congress passed in March 2021. Since then, the NEH has been working to distribute the $135 million appropriated by Congress to cultural organizations and educational institutions adversely affected by the pandemic.

To learn more about Landscapes of Extraction, visit

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.
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