After fire, Phillips Collection to reopen Saturday; admission free through September

By Jacqueline Trescott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Phillips Collection, following a fire this week in the original part of the museum, will reopen Saturday and will not charge admission for the rest of September.

"There is fairly extensive water damage in the house, but the Goh Annex and the Sant Building are unscathed," said Dorothy Kosinski, the museum's director. The staff moved the paintings to storage as soon as the fire was detected, she added, and the fire doors to the two connecting buildings were closed.

The fire started Thursday morning on the roof of the Georgian Revival mansion, dating to 1897, and was caused by renovation work on the roof, Kosinski said.

The air in the museum is clear, she said. "I don't detect any odors."

The free admission will include "Luncheon of the Boating Party," a Renoir work at the Phillips, and the Rothko Room. The museum is currently hosting "Pousette-Dart: Predominantly White Paintings" and "Robert Ryman: Variations and Improvisations."

"We decided to waive the admission as a gesture to our audience," Kosinski said. "They will not be able to go into the house, and that is a big part of the Phillips experience." A show of work from the Oberlin College art museum will be installed on schedule next week, she said.

Donations from visitors are still welcome, Phillips officials said.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company