Dupont Circle, The District, The Features

Phillips Collection celebrates 90th Birthday this weekend

Photo courtesy of
‘Phillips Collection Music Room’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle, when it opened in 1921, became the country’s first museum to focus on modern art, beating New York’s MOMA by 8 years.  Founded by the scion of steel baron Duncan Clinch Philips, the museum has been a central hub of the modern art world for 90 years now.  This weekend, the museum is hosting a Free Weekend for all to enjoy as part of a kickoff celebration of their ninetieth year.

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The Daily Feed

Side by Side Opens at Phillips

Photo courtesy of
‘Man Experiencing Art’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

Side by Side: Oberlin’s Masterworks at The Phillips Collection opened yesterday and will be on exhibit through January 16th. Twenty-five significant works, 24 paintings and one sculpture, from the collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin are presented in conjunction with selections from the Phillip’s permanent collection.  Many of the featured works have not left the Allen in half a century, but have made the journey to D.C. for safekeeping while the Allen is currently closed for renovations.

Rare works by painters such as Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Mark Rothko, Peter Paul Rubens, and Jan van Eyck are displayed.

The Daily Feed

Phillips Collection Opens After Fire

Photo courtesy of
‘The Phillips Collection’
courtesy of ‘CathyLovesDC’

The Phillips Collection has re-opened their doors today following the renovation-related fire on September 2nd.  Also, regular admission has been waived for the entire month of September.

The Phillips House will remain closed for repairs until further notice, but all other galleries will be open, including special exhibitions such as Pousette-Dart: Predominantly White Paintings 

The Phillips Collection is located at 1600 21st Street NW.

The Daily Feed

Beer, Music & Art

Photo courtesy of
‘The Phillips Collection’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

Phillips After 5 tonight will feature ChurchKey’s Greg Engert, who will be pouring up some delicious white beers, and DJ Danny Harris, likely to be spinning tunes from the Beatles’ White Album.  And of course, you can enjoy all of this while also taking in The Phillips Collection’s incredible exhibits.

If you have never been to this fun D.C. event, I recommend you battle the severe thunderstorms and kick off the weekend right!

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Jason Wu Inspired Phillips After 5

Photo courtesy of
‘Shannon 06′
courtesy of ‘yospyn’

How awesome is this?

Fashion Designer Jason Wu cites Robert Ryman’s paintings as the muse for his fall 2010 TSE cashmere collection.

Phillips after 5 for August 12th will be entirely dedicated to the coveted fashion designer and this very exciting collaboration. For one evening, models will act as living works of art in the Ryman exhibition and a video of Wu’s fall 2010 ready-to-wear runway show will be on view in the café.  For even more fun, a scavenger hunt will lead visitors through the museum, collecting fashion and fine art facts along the way for a chance to win prizes.

Due to the popularity of Phillips after 5, advance reservations are encouraged to insure admission.

For more information call 202-387.2151.

The Daily Feed, We Love Arts

Win 2 Tickets to Phillips After 5!

Photo courtesy of
‘The Phillips Collection 2523′
courtesy of ‘yospyn’

Looks like the Phillips Collection took my light criticism to heart last Friday because they have decided to hold a contest to see who can come up with the best alternative name for the Pousette-Dart exhibit – which is currently titled, Predominantly White Paintings.

All you have to do is go to their Facebook Page and submit something exciting, alluring, or at least, improved.

Two tickets to Phillips After 5 this Thursday will be awarded to the winner.

The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Pousette-Dart

Richard Pousette-Dart, Cosmos, 1950-51. Oil and graphite on board, 36 x 48 in. Courtesy of Knoedler Gallery. © 2010 Estate of Richard Pousette-Dart / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

“I strive to express the spiritual nature of the universe.  Painting for me is a dynamic balance and wholeness of life; it is mysterious and transcending, yet solid and real.” – Richard Pousette-Dart

Exhibition titles are supposed to be exciting and alluring.  They should make you go, “I have got to see this”, or at least, grab your attention for a second or two.  The exhibition title for the current Pousette-Dart showing at The Phillips Collection is anything but that.  Nothing about the phrase Predominantly White Paintings gets you jumping out of your chair, heading for the door (unless of course you are familiar with the artist’s work already).  However, you may want to reconsider.

Richard Pousette-Dart is among the most celebrated abstract expressionists of the avant-garde New York, sharing the limelight with the likes of Pollock, Gorky, and de Kooning – a circle of artists that only a very few (of the very many) had the artistic merit and vision to join.  During the early 1950’s, Pousette-Dart departed from his distinguished colorful paintings and arrived upon white, not a color, but simply a characteristic of light’s reflecting powers. Now, for the first time in over 50 years, twenty-five of Pousette-Dart’s Predominantly White Paintings are on display.  And let me tell you, nothing about them is boring.

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Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk

Photo courtesy of
‘Walk More’
courtesy of ‘spiggycat’

Free, free, free – music to my ears!  This Saturday and Sunday, during the 27th annual Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk, the Textile Museum (check out Art by the Yard:  Women Design Mid-century Britain), the Anderson House, and the Phillips Collection will all be offering free admission.

The Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk is on Saturday, June 5th from 10 AM – 4 PM and on Sunday, June 6th from 1-5 PM. 

For more information call 202-387-4062.

The Daily Feed

Georgia O’Keeffe, Extended Hours

Photo courtesy of
‘Phillips Collection Staircase’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

The Phillips Collection just announced that the museum will be extending its hours for the final two-weeks of the Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction exhibition.  I had the chance to check out the exhibit a few months ago and it definitely was a real treat.

Now you really don’t have an excuse for not checking it out.

On May 1-2 and May 8-9 the exhibition will be open to visitors from 10AM to 10PM.

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Being Green at Phillips

Photo courtesy of
‘Mural’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

In honor of Earth Day, coming up right around the corner (I just love April), the Phillips Collection Food Arts is hosting “Green Hours at the Phillips” now through April 22nd. Every Thursday, the museum café will offer organic wines and local beers, with one dollar from each drink going towards Earth Day Network.

Furthermore, on Earth Day the Phillips Collection will be hosting a panel discussion about local food and the landscape, in partnership with FreshFarm.  The panel will be featuring Maryland winemaker Robert Lyons, chef Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora, and PA farmer Mark Toigo of Toigo Orchards.

The Phillips Collection is located at 1600 21st St.

Register for the Earth Day Panel Discussion here.

The Daily Feed

De-Frost Fridays

Photo courtesy of
’58.365 – History in the making.’
courtesy of ‘josh.liba’

The Phillips Collection is hosting a new event called De-Frost Fridays.  When you purchase admission to see Georgia O’Keeffe Abstraction on a Friday this winter, you will also get free cup of spicy southwestern hot chocolate by FoodArts in the Phillips Cafe.  De-Frost Fridays will continue now through March 19th between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. Hot chocolate, inspiring art, and a place to warm up during this frigid DC winter; I’m so there.

The Phillips Collection is located at 1600 21st. NW.

Dupont Circle, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Phillips After Five, Tonight

Man Ray's "Noir et Blanche" courtesy of The Phillips Collection

Man Ray's "Noir et Blanche" courtesy of The Phillips Collection

Theater meets art tonight at The Phillips Collection’s monthly Phillips After Five event, featuring preview scenes from Round House Theatre’s production of Permanent Collection.

In a timely intersection with the Phillips’ current Man Ray exhibit featuring his photographs of African artifacts (closing this wekend!), the play is about a museum director’s “racially charged battle” over an African sculptures exhibit. A discussion on the politics of museum display follows with director Timothy Douglas and Round House producing artistic director Blake Robison, joined by the Phillips’ director Dr. Dorothy Kosinski and exhibit curator Wendy Grossman. That’s an arts powerhouse lineup!

Allyn Johnson will be performing piano pieces by Henry Crowder (Man Ray’s friend) from 5-8pm, the Round House segment is at 6:30pm, and gallery talks on the Man Ray exhibit will be held at 6 and 7pm. The whole event runs from 5-8:30pm with cash bar and tickets are $12. Definitely a great way to say good-bye to the Man Ray exhibit.

Dupont Circle, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Intersections

Still from Brain Storm, by Jennifer Wen Ma. Photo courtesy of the artist.

"Brain Storm" by Jennifer Wen Ma, still from video projection. Courtesy of the artist.

There’s something about the approach of the winter season that always makes me want to drift away in a museum, quieting my mind by reflecting on art. A recent sojourn to the Phillips Collection to see the Intersections series did just that, and I encourage you to check it out.

Too often art collections can become hidebound and resistant to change. But this museum’s founder Duncan Phillips referred to his collection as the “experiment station,” welcoming artist interaction with radical installations unusual for their time. Intersections seeks to revisit Phillips’ vision by engaging modern artists to create unique works inspired by permanent pieces in the collection. Utilizing physical space that might otherwise be overlooked, these works will help you look at the surrounding pieces with a fresh eye.

There are currently three works on display as part of this series. Let’s start with a bunch of granite suspended on plain black cord.
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The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Man Ray

Man Ray. Noire et blanche, 1926. Gelatin silver print. The Baltimore Museum of Art, Purchase with exchange funds from the Edward Joseph Gallagher III Memorial Collection; and partial gift of George H. Dalsheimer, BMA 1988.422. Photo: Mitro Hood. © 2009 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris

Man Ray. Noire et blanche, 1926. Gelatin silver print. The Baltimore Museum of Art, Purchase with exchange funds from the Edward Joseph Gallagher III Memorial Collection; and partial gift of George H. Dalsheimer, BMA 1988.422. Photo: Mitro Hood. © 2009 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris

I love Man Ray. There’s something still so – cool – about his photographs, even today in our digital informal age. Hauntingly evocative of my favorite era, I usually rather narrowly think of him in context of 20′s fashion. There’s no better representation of the iconic beauty of that time than his Noire et Blanche, seen above, appearing in 1926 Vogue.

However, there’s another angle to Man Ray’s work that a new exhibit at the Phillips Collection makes plain. Opening this Saturday, May Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens highlights the link between his work and the movement to promote African artifacts, elevating them to the status of modern art. The exhibit showcases more than 50 photographs by Man Ray, with about 50 more of his contemporaries like Cecil Beaton and Alfred Stieglitz. Several are matched with the original African objects they feature, for the first time, allowing the viewer to make the connection on how photographers can influence perception.

It also features my favorite Man Ray photograph. Continue reading