Editors' pick

Phillips Collection

Art Museum
Phillips Collection photo
(The Rothko Room/Copyright Robert C. Lautman)

Vocal Colors with Wolf Trap

Members of the Wolf Trap Opera (soprano Amy Owens, baritone Morgan Pearse and pianist Emily Senturia) perform selections in response to the museum's collection. Presented with the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.
Through 8/9

Jacob Lawrence: Struggle...From the History of the American People

This series of works by Lawrence depicts scenes from the Revolutionary War through the great westward expansion.
Through 8/31

The Journals of Duncan Phillips

Three decades' worth of the museum founder's journals are displayed.
Through 9/6

Modern Vision: The Linda Lichtenberg Kaplan Collection

Phillips trustee and art collector Linda Lichtenberg Kaplan donated drawings by 18 American sculptors, including Jay DeFeo, Louise Nevelson, Tony Smith and others.
Through 9/13

American Moments: Photographs From the Phillips Collection

The museum's first major photography exhibition drawn from its permanent collection, this display features more than 130 20th-century American photographs by more than 30 artists, including Esther Bubley, Bruce Davidson, Alfred Eisenstaedt and others.
Through 10/25

Intersections @ 5: Contemporary Art Projects at the Phillips

This exhibition presents acquisitions by Intersections artists.

Editorial Review

‘Vocal Colors’ a welcome summer concert at the Phillips Collection

Four in Wolf Trap Opera Company’s summer residency program offer a deftly sung, charming performance.

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)