HOME INDEX EXHIBITIONS EVENTS ABOUT US BLOG LINKS CONTACT US SUBSCRIBE
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens The Phillips Collection
Washington, D.C.
SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS. THEY MAKE THIS SITE POSSIBLE
Premium Ad Space

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street NW
Washington DC
202-387-2151
Map

America's First Museum of Modern Art


www.phillipscollection.org

Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia

Moving Forward, Looking Back

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


Events


Exhibitions

Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia
Through September 9, 2018

In the late 1980s women artists took the reins of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement in Australia. After years of working in the shadows, assisting their fathers and husbands, they burst onto the scene, giving it a new vitality and dynamism. Women artists redrew the boundaries of Aboriginal art, and continue to be among its most daring innovators. Though cultural activity has always been central to the secular and sacred lives of women, art making in recent decades has offered a key means for women to also maintain their social and economic independence.

The nine artists in this exhibition—Nonggirrnga Marawili, Wintjiya Napaltjarri, Yukultji Napangati, Angelina Pwerle, Carlene West, Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Lena Yarinkura, Gulumbu Yunupingu, and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu—offer a glimpse into the diverse contemporary art practice of Aboriginal Australia. Hailing from remote areas across the island continent, they are revered matriarchs, commanding leadership roles and using art to empower their respective communities. The works are steeped in ancient cultural traditions, specific to each artist, and yet speak to universal contemporary themes, revealing the continued relevance of indigenous knowledge in the 21st century.

The subjects of the works range from remote celestial bodies and the native bush plum’s tiny flowers to venerable craft traditions and women’s ceremonies. Accordingly, each work grapples with the most fundamental questions of existence. Every mark bears testament to natural and cosmological cycles that put one’s being into perspective, whether the ebb and flow of sacred waters and ancestral sands, or the simple passage of a brush against canvas. These artists make marks upon the infinite, asserting both our shared humanity and differences in experiencing and valuing the same planet.

This exhibition is presented by Chevron.

Generous support is provided by Andrea and Steve Strawn and by U.S. Trust and the Embassy of Australia.

Additional support for the presentation at The Phillips Collection is provided by Dennis and Debra Scholl, Charles McKittrick, Jr., and from the Paula Ballo Dailey Memorial Fund.

Marking the Infinite originated at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada, and was organized by William Fox, Director, Center for Art and Environment, and curated by Henry Skerritt, Curator, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia. The works in the exhibition are drawn from the collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl.

Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia: Audio Tour Stop 1

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.”

Back to Page 1

Calendar

previous museum
next
museum
Advertise
Support Your Local Galleries and Museums! They Are Economic Engines for Your Community.

Subscribe to Our Free Weekly Email Newsletter!

ADVERTISE ON THIS SITE | HOME | EXHIBITIONS | INDEX | EVENTS | ABOUT US | LINKS | CONTACT US | DONATE | SUBSCRIBE
Copyright 2018 Art Museum Touring.com