This Painting Sounds Like…

Allen Tucker The Rise

What does Allen Tucker’s The Rise sound like to you? Image: Allen Tucker, The Rise, not dated. Oil on canvas, 30 1/2 x 36 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1927

An upcoming performance by singers from Vocal Arts DC got me thinking about not just the thoughts, but the soundtrack that goes through my head as I’m wandering the museum’s galleries. On April 17, co-winners of the Art Song Discovery Competition Natalie Conte and Matthew Morris (read about and hear them perform on SoundCloud) pair artworks in Made in the USA with music of similar moods. I wonder if, like me, they hear Travis Tritt’s ”It’s a Great Day To Be Alive” when they see Allen Tucker’s The Rise. Here are a few other pairings I’ve unwittingly made:

Gifford Beal The Fish Bucket and Edward Hopper Sunday

“A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles comes to mind for Gifford Beal’s The Fish Bucket, and Edward Hopper’s Sunday sounds like Phantom Planet’s “Lonely Day”.
Images: (left) Gifford Beal, The Fish Bucket, 1924. Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 24 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1925 © The Estate of Gifford Beal, courtesy of Kraushaar Galleries, New York (right) Edward Hopper, Sunday, 1926. Oil on canvas, 29 x 34 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1926

Elizabeth Murray The Sun and the Moon, Milton Avery Black Sea

Elizabeth Murray’s The Sun and the Moon sends me into a Skrillex “Bangarang” frenzy, and Milton Avery’s Black Sea makes me think of the Jaws theme song.
Images: (left) Elizabeth Murray, The Sun and the Moon, between 2004 and 2005. Oil on panel mounted on wood, 117 x 107 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Gift of Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro and Gifford and Joann Phillips, 2006. (right) Milton Avery, Black Sea, 1959, Oil on canvas, 50 x 67 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1965 © 2014 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Lee Gatch Industrial Night

And for no discernible reason, Billy Joel’s “Allentown” comes to mind when I see Lee Gatch’s Industrial Night.
Image: Lee Gatch, Industrial Night, 1948. Oil on canvas, 17 7/8 x 39 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1949

What do you hear when you wander the galleries at The Phillips Collection?

Amy Wike, Marketing Manager

Be the Curator with uCurate

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(Left) Installation view of the Made in the USA exhibition  (Right) Virtual view of a gallery created in uCurate

In conjunction with Made in the USA, the Phillips unveiled uCurate: a virtual gallery experience that enables you to curate your own exhibition with works of your choosing, enhance them with your choice of wall colors, and share your personal insights about the pieces in your collection. It’s available in the exhibition galleries, as well as on our website and can run on both Windows and Apple based computers.

We began by taking precise measurements of two galleries in our 3rd floor annex space and from there a 3D model was created. Then we uploaded digital images of our selected collection with their dimensions. All objects are scaled-to-size when they appear in the virtual gallery.

While curating your exhibit, you’ll be able to view it from overhead and get up close and personal with the works:

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(Left) Aerial view of the a uCurate gallery  (Right) Screenshot of a zoomed in view of an artwork in uCurate

While first released at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, we have added some enhancements to the application. For instance, you may “Click to select a theme” which brings up a list of available categories from Made in the USA that allow you to tailor your exhibit even further.

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Users can select a theme from the exhibition to see related works

You may also click the “information” icon which allows you to get deeper details about the object, putting it into context by discussing its place in the life of the artist, the genre, or other anecdotal information.

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Click the information icon for in-depth details about the artist and artwork selected

Clicking on the “Paint Walls” button brings up a palette of wall colors. Simply drag a swatch onto your gallery wall to apply the chosen color.

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Choose from a number of wall colors to “paint” each gallery wall

Clicking on “Overview” allows you to add your personal insights about your exhibit.

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Add your own thoughts and insights for each artwork once it’s been added to your curated gallery

Clicking on “Save” allows you to publish your exhibit to the web and e-mail yourself and friends the link. Share your creations on social media with #MyAmericanArt.

Visit often. Look for some prize opportunities soon. Who knows? You may be America’s Next Top Curating Idol!

Seeking uCurate App Beta-testers*

*UPDATE: Our testing participant roster is currently full and testing is in process. Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm!

We are launching a mobile Apple and Android BETA version of the uCurate application. We are seeking 15 participants for each operating system (Apple iOS and Android) to help us in the testing process, to provide input before we submit the apps for approval. We ask each tester to test in both a tablet and mobile phone platform, if possible. If you can test in both operating systems, terrific, or only have one device, that works as well. We will stop once we reach our needed 15 testers per operating system, 30 total, filled on a first-come-first-served basis.

We will provide you with instructions and questions to which we are seeking your opinions for a testing period of two weeks (April 14th – April 25th). We are soliciting comments and opinions immediately after the period begins.

Each tester who successfully participates with this project will receive two free tickets to Made in the USA . If you are interested in applying, please send an email with “BETA TESTER” in the subject line to and be sure to list the types of devices you will be using to test the application. We will respond to you shortly thereafter. Thank you for your interest in The Phillips Collection.

Amelia the Thinker #MyAmericanArt

Ever wonder what the person is a painting is thinking about? We do ALL THE TIME, especially Miss Amelia Van Buren, the subject of Thomas Eakins’s painting on view in Made in the USA: American Masters from The Phillips Collection, 1850–1970.

We’ve been inviting visitors to consider, “What is Amelia thinking?” We shared some initial submissions a few weeks ago and we’re so excited by the responses we wanted to publish more highlights.

What do you think Amelia is thinking about? Share your ideas on what Amelia is thinking via Instagram or Twitter using #MyAmericanArt. Or if you’re nearby, come see the painting and submit your response at our in-gallery comment station. 

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