Getting GLAM with American Art

wikipedia made in the usaIn recent years, Wikipedia GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) Edit-a-thons have taken place at prestigious institutions such as the New York Public Library, the Smithsonian, the British Library, and numerous presidential and university libraries. At these edit-a-thons, volunteers new and experienced come together (often in service of a theme such as Art+Feminism) to create or expand Wikipedia articles. They have the opportunity to draw on some of the highest quality library and archives collections in the world.

This Sunday, June 29, from 11 to 5, the Phillips, in partnership with Wikimedia DC, is hosting a Made in the USA-themed edit-a-thon to create and expand Wikipedia articles on artists in the exhibition and American artists in our permanent collection. What better way to celebrate the upcoming Independence Day holiday than by jumping into the largest democratic experiment on the Internet? Follow this link for more information and to rsvp to attend: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/Phillips_Collection

What Lies Beneath

(Left) Pablo Picasso, The Blue Room, 1901, Oil on canvas 19 7/8 x 24 1/4 in.; 50.4825 x 61.595 cm. Acquired 1927. (Right) Infrared of Pablo Picasso’s The Blue Room (1901). The Phillips Collection, copyright 2008.

(Left) Pablo Picasso, The Blue Room, 1901, Oil on canvas 19 7/8 x 24 1/4 in.; 50.4825 x 61.595 cm. Acquired 1927. (Right) Infrared of Pablo Picasso’s The Blue Room (1901). The Phillips Collection,  copyright 2008.

Perhaps you’ve heard our big news of the day: thanks to the skillful work and research of Patricia Favero and colleagues at fellow institutions, a portrait of a man has been identified under Picasso’s The Blue Room (1901) through the use of imaging technology. We’re really proud of Patti’s discovery!

This is not the first time one of our excellent conservators has made a newsworthy discovery. Just one example is chief conservator Elizabeth Steele’s and then-intern Gillian Cook’s finding of an entirely complete canvas beneath Gifford Beal’s painting, Parade of Elephants (1924) back in 1999. The uncovered work, On the Hudson at Newburg (1918), has gone on to become a most beloved part of our collection.

Two paintings by Gifford Beal that, at one time, shared a stretcher. (Left) On the Hudson at Newburgh, 1918, Oil on canvas 36 x 58 1/2 in.; 91.44 x 148.59 cm.. Estate of Gifford Beal, courtesy of Kraushaar Galleries. (Right) Parade of Elephants, 1924, Oil on canvas 36 1/8 x 58 5/8 in.; 91.7575 x 148.9075 cm.. Acquired 1924.

Two paintings by Gifford Beal that, at one time, shared a stretcher. (Left) On the Hudson at Newburgh, 1918, Oil on canvas 36 x 58 1/2 in.; 91.44 x 148.59 cm.. Estate of Gifford Beal, courtesy of Kraushaar Galleries. (Right) Parade of Elephants, 1924, Oil on canvas 36 1/8 x 58 5/8 in.; 91.7575 x 148.9075 cm.. Acquired 1924.

We Jazz June

In honor of the DC Jazz Festival and our own Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days this weekend, here are some works in the collection to get your toes tapping, all of which relate to jazz. Can you see it?

collection music

Clockwise from top left: Gene Davis, Jasmine Jumper, 1966, Acrylic on canvas 119 1/2 x 161 1/2 in.; 303.53 x 410.21 cm.. Gift of Florence Coulson Davis In Memory of Gene Davis, 1992. Stuart Davis, Egg Beater No. 4, 1928, Oil on canvas 27 1/8 x 38 1/4 in.; 68.8975 x 97.155 cm.. Acquired 1939. Elizabeth Murray, Jazz, 2001, 3-dimensional lithograph, Edition 7 of 46 overall: 30 in x 34 in x 4 in; 76.2 cm x 86.36 cm x 10.2 cm. Purchased with funds from the estate of Nathan and Jeanette Miller, 2007. Arthur G., Dove, Me and the Moon, 1937, Wax emulsion on canvas 18 x 26 in.; 45.72 x 66.04 cm.. Acquired 1939. The Phillips Collection, Washington DC.

Gene Davis said, in a 1975 interview, “My work is mainly about intervals, that is, like in music. Music is essentially time interval, and I’m interested in space interval.”  He was also known to say that he painted “by eye” the way a jazz musician plays “by ear”. Stuart Davis collected jazz records that he played while he worked, replaying them much as he repeated visual elements in his paintings. His daily calendars chronicle purchases of new albums and when he played them. Elizabeth Murray captures the vibrant sound and broken branches of jazz improvisation in her colorful print, Jazz (2001). And Arthur Dove’s Me and the Moon (1937) is named after the 1936 song which he heard on the radio while he worked.

What visual art makes you think of jazz?