Volunteer Spotlight: Faezeh Foroutan

In this series, Manager of Visitor and Family Engagement Emily Bray profiles volunteers within the museum. Phillips volunteers are an integral part of the museum and help in many ways: greeting and guiding guests through the museum, helping with Sunday Concerts, assisting patrons in the library, helping out with Phillips after 5 and special events, and so much more. Our volunteers offer a wealth of expertise and experience to the museum, and we are delighted to highlight several them.

Faezeh Foroutan, Phillips Music Volunteer

Faezeh Foroutan

What year did you start volunteering at The Phillips Collection?

I started volunteering with Phillips Music some seven years ago.

What do you see as the most valuable aspect of your volunteering?

Coordinating all the volunteers during the Phillips Music season.  We have a large number of volunteers varying between ten and twelve.  For every Sunday concert, we assign two volunteers. This requires careful coordination and planning in advance to make sure that volunteers are available and that they attend the concert of their preference.

What do you do when you are not volunteering at The Phillips Collection?

I am currently retired, but I worked as an economist for the World Bank for over 25 years.

What is your favorite room or painting here?

The Music Room is really my favorite. It is elegant; intimate for concerts; has great paintings on the walls; and most importantly from my perspective, has great acoustics.

If you had to choose one word to describe the Phillips, what would it be?

I would choose two: dedication and passion.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I feel very privileged to be a volunteer at The Phillips Collection.  Every person you meet, from volunteers to interns to the highest-ranking staff, is totally dedicated, knowledgeable, and above all, kind.  The combination of music and visual arts, not to mention the building itself, makes the Phillips stand as a jewel in the crown of Washington, DC.

Fashion a la Renoir

We asked guests who attended the Fashion a la Renoir Phillips after 5 earlier this month to dress in their vintage best, and we snapped photos of some of the standouts! Thanks to all who came. Catch the next Phillips after 5 on December 7.

Cam Dang and Monica Kohli

Jessica Eddy

Lori Crandall

Michelle Dietch and Crystal Pierre

Edgar Degas and Ellen Andrée

Each week for the duration of the exhibition, we’ll focus on one work of art from Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party, on view October 7, 2017-January 7, 2018.

Edgar Degas, Portrait of Ellen Andrée, 1876

Edgar Degas, Portrait of Ellen Andrée (Portrait d’Ellen Andrée), 1876. Monotype in black and brown ink on ivory paper, 8 1/2 × 6 1/4 in. The Art Institute of Chicago

Ellen Andrée, born Hélène André around 1855, started acting in 1879. She was a favorite of Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, using her talents as an actress to play many roles as a model. A lively young woman, she joined the artists’ circle at the Café Nouvelle Athenes. In the early 1880s she gave up modeling entirely and in 1887 she joined a naturalist theater, the Teâtre-Libre. Her career took her to the United States, Argentina, and Russia. She married Henri Julien Dumont, a painter who specialized in flowers. Degas made several portraits of her and she modeled as the dissolute woman in his famous painting In a Café (L’Absinthe) (Musée d’Orsay, 1975-76), where she stares vacantly at the glass on the table in front of her.