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!