Tweeting Behind the Scenes of Made in the USA

To celebrate the opening of Made in the USA, we held a series of tweetups in the weeks leading up to the exhibition. Participants used #MyAmericanArt to share photos of their behind-the-scenes preview with friends. We started with a tour from exhibition curator Susan Behrends Frank:

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TWEETS (Clockwise from top left): “‘Everything is pushed to the corners.’ #myamericanart,” @sam_theriault; “Can a work of art be too realistic? People thought this one was at the time it was done. #MyAmericanArt,” @sbanks20; “Rockwell Kent went into nature to capture grittiness and drama: witness ‘The Road Roller.’ #myamericanart,” @museums365; “Great seeing 200+ old faves back from tour & home @PhillipsMuseum ‘Made in the USA,’” @efstewart; “Moving on to the Degrees of Abstraction room with Avery painting #myamericanart,” @jackievicino

Moved to the conservation lab to hear insights from Associate Conservator Patti Favero:

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TWEETS (Clockwise from top left): “In the conservation room @PhillipsMuseum! #MyAmericanArt,” @swahilary; “I would die for these @KremerPigments in the @PhillipsMuseum conservation studio. #MyAmericanArt,” @studio9201; “Our tweeters get a chance to look at a #Gauguin through the microscope #myamericanart,” @phillipsmuseum; “Restoration and conservation tools. #myamericanart #phillipscollection #art #dc,” @sam_theriault

Then pieced together our own masterpieces based on works from the exhibition:

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TWEETS (Clockwise from top left): “Now we’re making our own art! (With snacks) #myamericanart,” @philipsmuseum; “Before and after shot of collaborative art project at @PhillipsMuseum #myamericanart tweetup! You were a great host!” @danamuses; “Stefan Hirsch’s New York, Lower Manhattan, as interpreted by today’s #MyAmericanArt tweetup.” @Phillipsmuseum; “Before and after! #picstitch #myamericanart,” @VanitaKataria

See the rest of what our tweetup participants had to say on the Phillips’s Storify account, and join the conversation with #MyAmericanArt!

The Delicate Balance: Happy Valentine’s Day

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Sam Gilliam, Red Petals, 1967. Acrylic on canvas, 88 x 93 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1967

Read in the context of today’s holiday, the description of this piece on our website struck me as especially poignant:

“Red Petals is among the first paintings in which Gilliam poured paint onto an unprimed and unstretched canvas, folded the canvas onto itself, suspended it, and left the paint to settle overnight. The next day he sponged, daubed, splattered, folded, rolled, and then restretched the canvas. Gilliam describes this delicate balance between improvisation and discipline as ‘a sort of accident, a part that I controlled, and then a part that I didn’t control, a part that I set into motion.’ The emotional intensity and expressionistic force of Red Petals partly derives from this careful manipulation and the tension between chance and control.”

Amy Wike, Marketing Manager