The husband and I are embarking on a mini-summer vacation to Washington, D.C. this weekend, and I cannot wait to get away! Though our visit will be short, I’m hoping to squeeze in as much as possible—a little museum time, a couple choice restaurants, and plenty of time with my fabulous extended family, most of which call Maryland and the East Coast home. Having lived in D.C. for a short while, and having visited countless times, I won’t be hitting all the sites, but instead just a couple favorites, most likely the National Museum of Natural History and The Phillips Collection.
My younger brother, who resides in D.C., volunteers at the Natural History Museum’s O. Orkin Insect Zoo, where he spreads his lifelong, and passionate love of wildlife with museum visitors. As he’s had an obsession with all things creepy crawly since forever, (his third birthday cake featured a frosting-drawn scorpion a la my artistic mother) visiting the Natural History Museum was always mandatory during family trips to D.C., a visit that has now become a loved tradition. I, on the other hand, cannot visit D.C. without stopping by The Phillips Collection, my absolutely favorite museum, and locale of a short but wonderful internship prior to my starting graduate school. Set apart from the National Mall, hidden amidst the Dupont Circle neighborhood, The Phillips Collection displays an incredible collection of Modern and Contemporary works, a collection began by husband and wife duo, Duncan and Marjorie Phillips. The intimate and enthralling museum winds through both the Phillips’ original three-story town home, as well as more contemporary gallery spaces which have been added over the years, overall encompassing 60,000 square feet along 21st St. If I had a “collecting allowance,” as Duncan Phillips received from his parents in 1916, my ideal collection would mirror that of the Phillips. Though I return again and again to re-visit my favorite works by Cézanne, Dufy, Bonnard, Tack, amongst many others….I love that the galleries are also always shifting, works moved to new locations not to fit a chronological timeline, but instead to spark conversation, to reveal new artistic connections.
Paul Cézanne, The Garden at Les Lauves (Le Jardin des Lauves), ca. 1906, Oil on canvas
Raoul Dufy, The Artist’s Studio, 1935, Oil on canvas
Pierre Bonnard, The Open Window, 1921, Oil on canvas
Augustus Vincent Tack, Ecstasy, 1929, Oil on canvas on wallboard
*images: Arch Land Blog edited by Good Old Modern // The Phillips Collection