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Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens The Phillips Collection
Washington, D.C.
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The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street NW
Washington DC
202-387-2151
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America's First Museum of Modern Art


www.phillipscollection.org

Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, 1821–2018

Intersections: Richard Tuttle: It Seems Like It's Going To Be

Moving Forward, Looking Back

Women of Influence (Part II): Elmira Bier, Minnie Byers, and Marjorie Phillips


Events


Exhibitions

Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, 1821–2018
October 13, 2018 - January 13, 2019

Nordic Impressions is a major survey of Nordic art spanning nearly 200 years and presenting 53 artists from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as the self-governing islands of Åland, Faroe, and Greenland. The exhibition celebrates the incredible artistic diversity of Nordic art, from idealized paintings of the distinctive Nordic light and untouched landscape to melancholic portraits in quiet interiors and mesmerizing video works that explore the human condition. While the question of what constitutes a distinctively Nordic art has been a constant debate, the art in the exhibition retains a certain mystique and focus on themes that have held a special place in Nordic culture for centuries: light and darkness, inner life and exterior space, the coalescence of nature and folklore, and women’s rights and social liberalism. The exhibition pays tribute to the artistic excellence of Nordic painters from the Golden Age and Romantic era (Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Helene Schjerfbeck), follows the artists who balanced nationalism and French influence (Franciska Clausen and Helmer Osslund), explores the influx of experimental and conceptual art (Sigurður Guðmundsson and Poul Gernes), and considers the international platform of artists of today (Eija-Liisa Ahtila and Hrafnhildur Aranardóttir / Shoplifter). Nordic Impressions demonstrates how Nordic artists have inspired each other across national boundaries while honoring deeply rooted cultural traditions.

The exhibition is organized by The Phillips Collection.

With generous support from the Marion F. Goldin Charitable Fund, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, and the scan|design foundation

Event Admission
$12 for adults; $10 for students as well as visitors 62 and over; free for visitors 18 and under

Intersections: Richard Tuttle: It Seems Like It's Going To Be
September 13 - December 30, 2018

Prominent American artist Richard Tuttle ( b.1941), best known for his subtle and enigmatic works, presents It Seems Like It's Going To Be, an elaborate installation spread throughout the second floor of the original Phillips House galleries that combines his 41-verse poem with 41 works that he created for each verse. By juxtaposing his poetry with visual objects and also bringing into the conversation works on paper from the Phillips’s permanent collection—by Matisse, Dove, Hepworth, Avery, Rodin, and others—the artist creates a unique experience that favors slow looking and introspection.

INTERSECTIONS
Intersections is a series of contemporary art projects that explores—as the title suggests—the intriguing intersections between old and new traditions, modern and contemporary art practices, and museum spaces and artistic interventions. Whether engaging with the permanent collection or diverse spaces in the museum, the projects suggest new relationships with their own surprises.

Many of the projects also riff on the nontraditional nature of the museum's galleries, sometimes activating spaces that are not typical exhibition areas with art produced specifically for those locations.

Moving Forward, Looking Back
A Collection Still in the Making: Selections from The Phillips Collection Archives
Through December 31, 2018

In the 1960s, Phillips altered the Main Gallery, giving it an appearance that reflected the modernist aesthetic of the time. He removed the architectural details that had been in the room since its inception. A large work by Bradley Walker Tomlin occupies the center wall, surrounded by paintings by Arthur Dove, Jackson Pollock, and Henri Matisse.

The Phillips Collection was established in 1921 by Duncan Phillips (1886–1966), heir to a steel fortune, in his family’s 1897 house in historic Dupont Circle. Phillips never sought to establish a comprehensive survey of styles or movements, nor to exhibit the collection as a whole. From the outset, the museum has been dedicated to the idea of modernism as a dialogue between the past and the present, without restrictions on geography, nationality, or time period, embracing its founder’s vision to be “an intimate museum combined with an experiment station.”

Moving Forward, Looking Back presents a selection of photographs, exhibition announcements, Christmas cards, letters, journals, and more from the museum's archives that reveal the how The Phillips Collection has been an “experiment station” for nearly 100 years.

Women of Influence (Part II): Elmira Bier, Minnie Byers, and Marjorie Phillips
Through December 30, 2018
Reading Room, Lower Level 1

Women of Influence: Elmira Bier, Minnie Byers, and Marjorie Phillips (Part II) examines the critical role that each woman played in the day to day activities of The Phillips Collection over six decades.

This refreshed installation features correspondence, postcards, photographs, and telegrams from the Phillips's archives.

Elmira Bier
Elmira Bier, who graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, was Duncan Phillips’s executive assistant from 1923 to 1972. Fiercely protective of Phillips’s time, Bier took on many responsibilities, including serving as the first director of the music program, beginning in 1941. Despite her lack of formal training, Bier quickly established a widely acclaimed concert series that highlighted new performers and innovative music, which paralleled Phillips’s support of contemporary art. An article about Bier’s role at the Phillips stated that “she ran the place.”

Minnie Byers
Minnie Byers was a powerful executive before women played that role. With a background in in business and knowledge about the stock market, she saved Phillips from the crash of 1929 by advising him to put his money in real estate. She started working for the Phillipses in 1918, initially providing financial advice to Duncan’s mother and later becoming treasurer of the museum. Byers commented, “I have a problem with Duncan. I can’t tell him how much money we have. He’ll go and spend it on works of art.” She warned Phillips not to pay too much for art, saying, “I invested their money wisely.” Byers retired in 1963.

Marjorie Phillips
Marjorie Phillips (1894–1985), a painter who studied at the Art Students League in New York, was integral to the formation of The Phillips Collection. She became co-founder of the museum following her marriage to Duncan Phillips in 1921. Duncan relied on his wife’s artistic insight in making acquisitions. Marjorie gradually took on more responsibility for exhibitions in the 1960s as Duncan’s health declined. Despite her many obligations as director after Duncan’s death in 1966, Marjorie stated, “I was happy as long as I had some time to paint every day.”

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