What does Allen Tucker’s The Rise sound like to you? Image: Allen Tucker, The Rise, not dated. Oil on canvas, 30 1/2 x 36 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1927
An upcoming performance by singers from Vocal Arts DC got me thinking about not just the thoughts, but the soundtrack that goes through my head as I’m wandering the museum’s galleries. On April 17, co-winners of the Art Song Discovery Competition Natalie Conte and Matthew Morris (read about and hear them perform on SoundCloud) pair artworks in Made in the USA with music of similar moods. I wonder if, like me, they hear Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day To Be Alive” when they see Allen Tucker’s The Rise. Here are a few other pairings I’ve unwittingly made:
“A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles comes to mind for Gifford Beal’s The Fish Bucket, and Edward Hopper’s Sunday sounds like Phantom Planet’s “Lonely Day”.
Images: (left) Gifford Beal, The Fish Bucket, 1924. Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 24 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1925 © The Estate of Gifford Beal, courtesy of Kraushaar Galleries, New York (right) Edward Hopper, Sunday, 1926. Oil on canvas, 29 x 34 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1926
Elizabeth Murray’s The Sun and the Moon sends me into a Skrillex “Bangarang” frenzy, and Milton Avery’s Black Sea makes me think of the Jaws theme song.
Images: (left) Elizabeth Murray, The Sun and the Moon, between 2004 and 2005. Oil on panel mounted on wood, 117 x 107 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Gift of Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro and Gifford and Joann Phillips, 2006. (right) Milton Avery, Black Sea, 1959, Oil on canvas, 50 x 67 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1965 © 2014 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
And for no discernible reason, Billy Joel’s “Allentown” comes to mind when I see Lee Gatch’s Industrial Night.
Image: Lee Gatch, Industrial Night, 1948. Oil on canvas, 17 7/8 x 39 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1949
What do you hear when you wander the galleries at The Phillips Collection?
Amy Wike, Marketing Manager