Overflow coat check at admissions, December 30, 2013. Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender
Starting with the government shutdown in October and the opening of Van Gogh Repetitions, we knew we were in for a busy season here. But it was one heck of a December for the Phillips as we welcomed 24,558 visitors (well above our budget attendance of 19,800.) The shop likely had its highest sales month ever, 21% over last December during our Degas exhibition. And the café was so popular, they had to fashion a sign announcing when capacity was reached. (And it has spent a lot of time on display.)
To all of our visitors and members (new and old), thank you for making this such a successful month. And to our colleagues on the front lines selling tickets and signing up members, checking coats, staffing and stocking the shop, making lattes and ladling soups in the café, and, most of all, keeping the artworks secure, THANK YOU!
Vesna Pavlovic works on a light table in the archives viewing negatives (left) and shares a glimpse of her process (right). Photos: Sarah Osborne Bender (left), Vesna Pavlovic (right)
Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender
Upcoming 2014 Intersections artist Vesna Pavlovic, whose work will be on view in late May, spent last week in the museum’s library and archive, exploring not only the collection but also the space. Head librarian Karen Schneider guided her through the materials. Using installation photograph negatives from 1960s exhibitions by Alberto Giacometti and Mark Tobey, she observed the results of combining images. She also experimented with the transparency and light of our skylight from the courtyard above.
Albert Pinkham Ryder, Macbeth and the Witches, after mid-1890s. Oil on canvas, 28 1/4 x 35 3/4 in. Acquired 1940. The Phillips Collection, Washington DC
Who knew you could find so many dark images in our collection to get your spirit ready for Halloween? We’ve got ghost towns, floods, and graveyard times. There are dead trees, three dead birds, witches and spooks! Bonfires, dark rivers, and dark entrances. There is also an artist or two who could be considered a little creepy, an ominous man in the grass and a ghostly portrait.
What are your favorite works of art for sending a chill up your spine?