Monday, July 27, 2009

The Phillips Collection

This past weekend I visited the Phillips Collection, a private museum here in Dupont Circle, DC which has an enviable collection of modern masters. Founded in 1921 by Duncan Phillips (a fellow Pittsburgher), the museum remains small but incredibly important. Works by Renoir (seen above), Paul Cezanne (also seen above) and Monet sit alongside very contemporary art. The museum was the first modern art museum in the United States which explains the incredible collection.I was drawn to the museum for the 'Paint made Flesh' exhibit which I highly recommend! Seen above is the new addition which houses the entrance. It quietly fits onto a small street, respecting the stately townhouses and embassies that are neighbors, just 3 blocks from the metro. Here you can see the original structure, a 1897 Georgian revival townhouse which was Duncan's home. After the deaths of his father & brother, Duncan and his mother dedicated the collection to their memory. In 1930 the collection was becoming so large that they moved out of the house and devoted it entirely to the museum.Above is a work by Paul Gaugin -I just love the colors and besides, the meal just looks delicious. At the top of the post is of course 'Luncheon of the boating party' by Pierre-Auguste Renoir(1880-1881) which Duncan purchased in 1923 -the museum's most well known painting to this day but surely not its finest.A painting by Chagall (my favorite artist).
The museum is known for its unusual approach to displaying the works. The collection is not shown in order by date or artist, but by similarities seen in the works themselves. This makes for a really enjoyable visit (as does the intimate scale of the space). I hope on your next visit to DC you visit the Phillips!

9 comments:

Terry said...

Thanks. Glad you make the visit.

Karena said...

Wow Steven, we love many of the same artists. Chagall is one of my favorites, and the artists included in Paint made Flesh are astounding!

Semigloss Chic said...

Stephen, you always find the exact places I want to go, but never knew existed! Who knew this little gem was tucked right in our own Dupont.

And 'Paint made Flesh' that curator should get a raise for that title, for sure.

pve design said...

Wonderful. I always enjoy seeing all the places you go and learning about what you love. I love trips to museums and seeing collections. I love that Chagall is one of your favorite artists.
pve

David Toms said...

It lloks fabulous!

home before dark said...

ESP! The Phillips is one of my very favorites.My husband and I were talking yesterday about the Phillips and the dearly departed Terra Museum in Chicago. The Phillips was recommended to me by the late (and in my opinion) great Henry Mitchell who wrote a garden column for the Washington Post and who knew the Phillips. Do you know his book, Washington Houses? I have two copies. If you don't have this and would like to have this, I would like to share it with you.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

HBD, I'm not familiar with the book -is it about gardens?

I found the phillips accidentally walking around 8 years ago. I was curious about what the place was, walked in and fell in love. I had no idea the significance of the place till later when I tried to find out more about it!

studioJudith said...

I shall put the Phillips on my D.C.
ToDo list ... .

Merci!

Things That Inspire said...

I discovered the Phillips collection a few years ago, when I was in an 'art phase'. What a little treasure it is!