The Phillips Collection

Paul Klee, Land of Lemons, 1929. Image and original data provided by The Phillips Collection, © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

The Phillips Collection is represented in Artstor with 1,140 images of Modern and Contemporary art from around the world.

In 1921, the Phillips Collection opened to showcase the collection of Duncan Phillips (1886–1966) and is the first museum of Modern art in the United States. Phillips founded the museum in his private residence, a Georgian Revival building located in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood. He built his collection on the premise that artists are influenced by their predecessors, thereby purchasing works by El Greco and Jean-Simeon Chardin as foreshadowings of later Expressionist and Modernist painting. From these foundations, Phillips would acquire works by European masters such as Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, Honoré Daumier, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edouard Vuillard. Renoir's masterpiece, Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880–1881), is the museum's best-known work. Phillips also collected works by American artists, including Richard Diebenkorn, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Jacob Lawrence, Maurice Prendergast, Mark Rothko, Albert Ryder, and James Abbot McNeill Whistler, among others. In addition, Phillips supported emerging artists like Milton Avery, Arthur Dove, John Marin, and Georgia O'Keeffe, purchasing their works to provide them with the means to continue their artistic vocations. Over the course of 50 years, Phillips and his wife Marjorie would amass a collection of over 2,000 works.

Since Phillips' death in 1966, the museum has continued to add to its permanent collection, which now comprises nearly 3,000 works by artists from around the world. As a private, non-government museum supported by donations and public funds, The Phillips Collection has an active collecting program and regularly organizes acclaimed special exhibitions, many of which travel nationally and internationally. The museum also produces award-winning and in-depth education programs for K-12 teachers and students, as well as for adults. Its Center for the Study of Modern Art explores new ways of thinking about art and the nature of creativity, through artist visits, seminars, and classes. To accommodate its growing collections, as well as its expanding education and outreach programs, the museum recently completed a comprehensive renovation and expansion project. Despite the addition of extensive exhibition and public spaces, the museum has preserved the scale of Phillips' historic residence and continues to offer visitors an intimate encounter with its renowned collection.