For The Birds (Of Prey)

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Gjon Mili, Sparrow Hawk about to Land on Gloved Hand of Young Boy, ca. 1942. Gelatin silver print overall: 10 in x 8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Gift of Adam and Susan Finn, 2012.

Our neighbors at the Smithsonian American Art Museum are holding an #ArtBirds Social Media Scavenger Hunt during September and October, and if there’s one animal that you’ll see over and over again in works at The Phillips Collection, it’s birds. We have a lot of them. We thought it only fitting to jump in on the fun! This week’s theme is “Birds of Prey,” so we’re submitting this photo of an oddly cheerful boy who’s about to come into direct contact with a hawk roughly the size of his head. Happy #ArtBird-watching!

Phillips Natitude

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Phillips employees Sandy Lee and Lydia O’Connor showing their Natitude with jerseys, caps, bobbleheads, and baseball artwork.

To celebrate the Washington Nationals’s clinching the NL East with a win in Atlanta, the Phillips is showing off its Natitude with bobbleheads, artist jerseys, Nats caps, and even our very own Night Baseball artwork by Marjorie Phillips in the galleries. GO NATS!

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(left) Chief Operating Officer Sue Nichols brought in her precious bobblehead collection for the occasion (right) Phillips employee Caroline Paganussi shows off her Natitude

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Tryst at the Phillips employees sport Winslow Homer and Robert Motherwell jerseys to share their Natitude.

Lady In Red: Alex Katz, Brisk Day

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(left) Alex Katz, Brisk Day, 1990. Woodcut, 36 in x 29 1/8 in. Gift of Fenner Milton, 2013. (middle) Alex Katz, Brisk Day, 1990. Aquatint, 35 3/8 in x 28 1/2 in. Gift of Fenner Milton, 2013 (right) Alex Katz, Brisk Day, 1990. Lithograph, 36 in x 29 in. Gift of Fenner Milton, 2013

These three portraits, recent acquisitions for the museum, are currently the only thing displayed in a small gallery at the Phillips. Take a moment to look at each one. What are the similarities? What are the differences?

It’s not until we look at the labels that we realize what creates the small nuances in color and line between the three works—each one is a different form of print. Artist Alex Katz is known for his arresting simplicity of line and form, bright, flat colors, and a powerful graphic punch that link them to commercial art and popular culture. By generalizing the features of a sitter or a landscape, and removing any expressive or emotional content, Katz focuses instead on formal properties of light, scale and color.