DC Artist Kelly Towles + Masterworks From the Phillips = American Art Redux

We shared pictures from our studio visit with DC artist Kelly Towles earlier this month; in this video, hear from the artist on testing boundaries and what he calls “a graceful vandalism” of  two iconic American artworks from Made in the USA.

The Phillips partnered with Towles to create two original t-shirt designs using reproductions of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Miss Lillian Woakes and Edward Hopper’s Approaching a City.  The limited edition t-shirts make their debut in the museum shop at the American Bounty Phillips after 5 on August 7; we’ll be giving away a signed shirt to one visitor that evening, stop by for a chance to win!

What is Amelia Thinking? Eakins Birthday Edition

In honor of American artist Thomas Eakins‘s birthday, here are some of our favorite recent submissions to the in-gallery comment station next to the artist’s Miss Amelia Van Buren, part of Made in the USA. We ask visitors to answer the question, “What is Amelia thinking?” and are receiving dozens of responses a week. Stop by the exhibition or tweet us your submission with #MyAmericanArt.

Amelia Van Buren talkback_07.25.14

Georges Rouault’s Unusual Materials

rouault_church interior side by side_AW

(Left) Georges Rouault’s painting Church Interior hangs unassumingly at the top of the stairs leading to the Music Room (Right) Georges Rouault, Church Interior, 1952, Enamel on copper, overall: 11 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. Bequest of Seymour and Janet Rubin, 2003

On my way through the galleries last week, I was stopped by a painting at the top of the stairs leading to the Music Room. There, hanging unassumingly on a wall all to itself, is George Rouault’s Church Interior. What caught me was the strange texture and shape of this otherwise fairly standard painting—the work seems to bubble out from its frame like an expanding balloon. Before looking at the label, I toyed with and quickly discarded a  list of possible materials: Glass? No, too thick. Wood? Too smooth a curve. Plastic? Too undulating a surface.

Finishing my game, I gave in and looked to the placard for the answer: enamel on copper! I racked my brain for other examples of works on copper, but couldn’t come up with any. Naturally, my next step was a search of the Phillips’s collection for similar works and then, finding none, of the world at large. It turns out that copper had something of a heyday in the 16th and 17th centuries as an artistic canvas, of interest to El Greco, Rembrandt, and a slew of others.

Amy Wike, Marketing Manager