Synopses & Reviews
American art has been essential to The Phillips Collection since its founding by Duncan Phillips in 1921. Phillipsand#8217;s collecting interests were decidedly against the grain: he acquired the work of living American artists, especially those outside the mainstream,and#160;when it was unpopular to do so and promoted diversity, as seen in works by self-taught artists, artists of color, and naturalized Americans, resulting in a rich assembly of independent-minded artists, including Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, and#160;and Georgia Oand#8217;Keeffe. The Phillips Collectionand#8217;s superb collection of American art, acquired over half a century, is presented here for the first time in a comprehensive overview, featuring 160 works from heroes of the late 19th centuryand#151;such as William Merritt Chase, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer, who set the course for modern art in Americaand#151;to abstract expressionists Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Adolph Gottlieb, and Mark Rothko, whose efforts to create a new visual language following World War II brought a new global significance to American art. A perennial guide to this important collection, the book includes scholarly essays on Phillips and on the Rothko Room, introductions to key groups of works in the collection, more than one hundredand#160;biographies of the most influential artists represented, and a chronology of Phillip's acquisitions and interactions with American artists.
"This book celebrates the three-fourths of the Phillips Collection (located in Washington, D.C.) that is devoted to American Art. Founder Duncan Phillips was a focused collector and patron of American artworks who appreciated 'landscapes, narratives, and romantic subjects' and preferred to acquire multiple paintings from single 'independently minded artists.' Perhaps the best example is Mark Rothko, for whom Phillips built a special room for four paintings. An essay by Phillips chief curator Eliza E. Rathbone is dedicated to the origins of this 'most successful installations of the artist's work.' Phillips also enthusiastically collected more than 23 works of John Marin, was the first museum director to acquire the work of Georgia O'Keefe, and provided life-long financial support to Arthur Dove. Editor Behrends Frank, Phillips associate curator for research, pays justifiable homage to Phillips's vision. She segments the artworks into thematic and temporal categories (much like the rooms or areas in an exhibition) that zoom in on features essential to understanding the importance of the works shows. As a result, the book serves as a revealing lens on the history of American art. 165 color and 126 b&w illus. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
and#8220;A revealing lens on the history of American art.and#8221;and#8212;Publishers Weekly
A comprehensive survey of The Phillips Collectionand#8217;s spectacular holdings in American art
About the Author
Susan Behrends Frank
is associate curator for research at The Phillips Collection.