A Passion for Books

community collection_books_Kathleen

Kathleen captured not only the books she collects, but also the environment in which she enjoys them in this contribution to our community collection

The collecting instinct reaches its apotheosis in books.Lawrence Clark Powell, “The Loves Have I,” in A Passion for Books, 1958

Nearly 5% of participants in our Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks from Switzerland interpretive station have shared their passion for collecting books. With reasons ranging from gaining knowledge, traveling to faraway places, enjoying the pure act of reading, or thinking of books as friends, the Phillips is a haven for bookworms of all types.

Share your love of books, or whatever you collect, by visiting the exhibition or creating your own at home and share it with #PhillipsGoesSwiss. Join us at tonight’s Phillips after 5 to participate in a community collection project!

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Elizabeth,a visitor from Takoma Park, is also an avid reader and book collector

community collection_books_shannon davita

Davita and Shannon collect books because “they hold the world’s wisdom”

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Hannah collects “all kinds, all sizes” of books

Marc Chagall’s Powerful Portraits: Part 3

Chagalll_Jew in Red

Marc Chagall, Jew in Red, 1914. Oil on cardboard laid down on canvas, 39 3/4 x 31 7/8 in. Im Obersteg Foundation, permanent loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Marc Chagall’s three monumental portraits from 1914, Jew in Red, Jew in Black and White, and Jew in Green, are on view in Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks from Switzerland. Read more about Jew in Black and White here, and Jew in Green here

Chagall’s Jew in Red is a bearded man holding a cane and a bag of belongings. He has been interpreted as Ahasver, the eternal Wandering Jew, or perhaps even Chagall, the displaced artist—a foreigner in his homeland. On the white curtain at left, in Hebrew, Latin, and Cyrillic, are names of artists that Chagall admired in Paris: Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, El Greco, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Jean Fouquet, Vincent van Gogh, Cimabue, Giotto, and Tintoretto.

Memory Matters

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Valerie collects “pictures because they remind me how many happy moments I have lived”; Rachel collects “ticket stubs because they remind me where I have been”

Many of the paintings in Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks from Switzerland represent artists’ memories of impactful travels or of people they loved. As many submissions to our interpretive station reflect, another important way people remember travels, loved ones, or events in their lives is by collecting. They collect objects—snow globes, ticket stubs, photos, postcards, and more—or simply the memories themselves. What do you collect to remember? Contribute to the community collection by visiting the exhibition or creating your own at home and share it with #PhillipsGoesSwiss.

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One visitor collects “memories of fragrances because they comfort me”

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Peggy collects “memories because I have dementia and I want to remember”

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Robert collects “baseball hats because they remind me of the game”; Bart collects “notes and cards from loved ones to remember the past”

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Tracey collects “snow globes because they record travel, places, etc.”

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Eleanor collects “happy memories because everyone needs joy in her life”

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Valerie N. collects “magnets from everywhere I go because I will always remember where I’ve been”