A Note About Admission: Museum admission prices vary throughout the year. The permanent collection is open to the public for free Tuesdays through Fridays (donations are welcome). On weekends, the fee is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and free for ages 18 and younger -- unless there is a special exhibition on view. In that case, visitors pay the special exhibition fees, which can vary, but are generally $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and free for ages 18 and younger.
The Buzz: America's first modern art museum was born in 1921 when prolific collector Duncan Phillips opened his home and personal art collection to the public. Today, selections from the permanent collection are still on view in Phillips' Dupont Circle brownstone. In April 2006, the museum celebrated the opening of a new wing with more exhibition space and new amenities for visitors and scholars.
The Collections: A list of artists represented in the Phillips Collection reads like a who's who of modern art. Among the nearly 2,500 pieces in the permanent collection are works by van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Cezanne, El Greco, Picasso, Matisse, Klee and O'Keeffe. Auguste Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party," a jolly impressionist canvas, is the museum's signature piece. The museum also exhibits four large-scale Mark Rothko works in an intimate gallery known as the Rothko Room.
Programs: One Thursday every month, the museum stays open until 8:30 p.m. for Phillips After 5, after-hours events that feature gallery talks with curators and other scholars. The museum offers introductory talks that acquaint visitors with the permanent collection on Saturday mornings at noon and lectures about the museum's special exhibition on Sunday at noon. From October to May, the museum hosts Sunday concerts at 4 p.m.
Extras: In addition to a cafe and gift shop, the museum also has a 180-seat auditorium, art activity room, conservation studio, outdoor courtyard and a library for scholars.
--Julia Beizer (July 10, 2007)