Welcome Back, Migration Series!

Migration Series_dining room

Installation view of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, currently on view in The original Phillips house.

We’re welcoming back The Phillips Collection’s 30 panels of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series with some new digs. The panels returned in September after a trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where they were reunited with the 30 panels owned by MoMA in the exhibition One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Works. If you missed it, the 60 panels will come together again at the Phillips in fall 2016. For now, the Phillips-owned panels are on display in what was once the original family dining room.

Staff Show 2015: Francesca Downs

In this series, Assistant to the Education Department Emily Bray highlights participants in the 2015 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through October 4, 2015.

Intergalactic Ode, August 2015, Acrylic on canvas

Intergalactic Ode, August 2015, Acrylic on canvas


(c) Francesca Downs

(c) Francesca Downs

A native of Washington, DC, Francesca graduated Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore with a Bachelor of Arts in 2011. After graduating, Francesca began taking courses toward a master’s degree in painting at George Washington University. Her artworks are heavily influenced by video games, comic books, and a variety of cartoons such as Arthur, Looney Toons, Dr. Katz, Bob’s Burgers, and King of the Hill. Francesca’s works are whimsical, flat, and combine representational and non-representational subjects. She transforms 3-dimensial objects into solid forms, where shapes and line dominate the space.

What do you do at The Phillips Collection?
I am currently a full-time Control Room Operator for our Security Department. I started out as a Museum Assistant in 2012 and had a brief stint as a part-time Museum Supervisor.

Are there any unique/interesting parts about your job that most people might not know about?
During my control room shift, I play an integral role in helping facilitate art deliveries, controlling access to the museum buildings, and/or assisting visitors. Since nobody can physically see me, it’s almost like it’s happening with magic!

What is your favorite gallery/space within The Phillips Collection?
Joan Miro, Raoul Dufy and Morris Louis are a few of my favorite artists. During my first visit to The Phillips Collection, a Morris Louis show was on display and I fell in love his painting, Seal. My favorite gallery space is probably the larger of two galleries near the courtyard.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2014 Staff Show (and/or your work in general)?
I have sort of been out of the painting and drawing game for about 3 years now. When I saw the 2015 Staff Show call for art, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to push myself and churn out a fun, little painting. I do not have a complicated process for creating my art, and most of the good stuff I’ve made was probably made under pressure. My work is fun, funny, or cute; otherwise I won’t do it. The piece I entered was just for fun, a way to dust off the old brushes, and warm up my dominant hand to prepare for new work in the near future. In 2015 (or early 2016), I’ll be launching a new website featuring my latest work.

The 2015 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show is on view September 2 through October 4, 2015. The show features artwork from The Phillips Collection staff. 

Spotlight on Intersections@5: Linn Meyers

The Phillips celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Intersections contemporary art series with Intersections@5, an exhibition comprising work by 20 of the participating artists. In this blog series, each artist writes about his or her work on view.


Linn Meyers, Untitled, 2014. Gift of Lucinda and Carlos Garcia

The unmediated directness of making a drawing is the result of a line being an extension of the hand and the body. The line is universal.

At the Time Being was a site-specific wall drawing made in response to Van Gogh’s The Road Menders. I chose Van Gogh’s work as a starting point because the method that the artist used to apply paint to his canvases shares some of the same qualities of a drawing.

Twenty-five years ago, I began my career as a painter. Over time I became enamored with the distilled qualities of drawing, and eventually drawing became my primary focus.

While working on the Intersections project in 2010, however, I found that I was not only drawing on the wall, but also using a paintbrush to enhance the image. That return to painting as a mode of expression during the project at the Phillips has stuck with me, and Untitled, 2014 is evidence of that. The piece blends drawing and painting; it puts the two modes of expression on equal footing. The lines in Untitled, 2014 have a calligraphic quality that was achieved with a paintbrush; however, the act of making a line is, in and of itself, an act of drawing.

Linn Meyers