The Phillips Collection

One day Di Yin and I went to The Phillips Collection. I visited it four years earlier and enjoyed it. I remembered my visit; I found many paintings and some rooms in the gallery were familiar. The Phillips has some great paintings; see my earlier commentary and photographs. This visit was mainly to see its new/special exhibits.

The headline special exhibit was on Degas and particularly his repeated motifs of dancers. He really was obsessed with dancers--he drew them a lot. In this exhibit there was a neat sign explaining how, using infrared reflectography or x-radiography, art analysts could determine how the first draft of certain paintings looked and how Degas revised them over time.

We also explored the rest of the museum, including the special exhibits celebrating The Phillips Collection's 90th anniversary. Of these, I liked the neat little exhibit outside the library about Duncan Phillips, the museum's founder & first director. Also, Di Yin and I were amused and delighted by the giant roses in the Phillips' front yard. In addition, we noted the large exhibit of Joseph Marioni. He's known for his big paintings consisting of entirely one color. I can sometime be okay with such abstract art (usually if the color is luminous enough), but this time it didn't excite me.

As for the other displays, I like how some paintings in the permanent collection have labels that explain how and why Duncan Phillips acquired the painting in 1910s-1960s (mainly 1910s-1930s when the museum was first getting started). These tales are really interesting.

Also, Di Yin and I found Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series engaging. It's a series of narrative paintings (a la cartoons) that tell the story of African American migration from the South to the North after WWI.

I took only two pictures in the Phillips during this visit.

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