Volunteer Spotlight: Anna Palmisano

In this series, Education Specialist 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.

Anna Palmisano, Art Information and Library Volunteer

Anna Palmisano

What year did you start volunteering at The Phillips Collection?

AP: I started volunteering in 2013 during the Van Gogh Repetitions exhibit.

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

AP: I want to help visitors have the best possible experience at The Phillips Collection. I especially enjoy helping visitors find a favorite painting or works by a favorite artist. I love when visitors stop to see me after touring the museum to tell me about their experience.

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

AP: I lead Marylanders for Patient Rights—a non-profit group dedicated to promoting legislation to protect the rights of hospital patients, who are among our most vulnerable consumers. I work with a wide range of advocacy groups and state legislators to promote patient rights.

What is your favorite room or painting here?

AP: I have so many favorite paintings! My favorite artists are Paul Klee, for his whimsical paintings that evoke childhood, and Pierre Bonnard for his use of colors in creating an ethereal and dreamlike atmosphere.

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

AP: Inspiring

Share a fun fact about you!

AP: I am a scientist by training—a microbial ecologist. My doctoral research took me to the continent of Antarctica on seven expeditions to study how microorganisms adapt to extreme environments.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

AP: I have been coming to the Phillips since I was six years old. I was fortunate that my parents and my aunt, the sculptor Marie Lesher, introduced me to the Phillips, and it remains my favorite museum. When I retired, The Phillips Collection was an obvious choice for volunteering.  I enjoy the art and wonderful people who work here!

A Modern Vision at the Kimbell

Phillips Director Dorothy Kosinski admires the newly installed A Modern Vision. From left to right: George Rouault’s Verlaine (1939), Alberto Giacometti’s Monumental Head (1960), Georges Braque’s The Round Table (1929), and Nicolas de Staël’s Le Parc de Sceaux (1952). Photo: Susan Behrends Frank

My first two weeks of May were spent with the terrific staff at Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Together, we condition checked and installed the travelling exhibition A Modern Vision: European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection. Highlighting Duncan Phillips’s collecting approach, the exhibition presents a stunning array of iconic European paintings and sculptures. It features the artists Phillips revered who achieved the mastery of color, the power of great emotion, and the balance of representation and abstraction. Works by Jean-Siméon-Baptiste Chardin, Gustave Courbet, Eugene Delacroix, and Édouard Manet are placed in dialogue with Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces by Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Claude Monet. The great masters of the 20th century including Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso are shown with units of work by Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, Honoré Daumier, and Paul Klee. On May 11, Phillips Director Dorothy Kosinski and curator Susan Behrends Frank joined me at the exhibition opening; on May 13, Frank gave a lecture on the exhibition to 400 visitors. See this exhibition in the Kimbell’s Renzo Piano Pavilion through August 13.

Renée Maurer, Associate Curator

Oskar Kokoschka’s Portrait of Lotte Franzos (1909) next to a maquette before the placement of the sculpture Head of a Woman (1950) by Pablo Picasso. Photo: Renée Maurer

Installation of Ingres’s The Seated Bather (1826) beside Corot’s View from the Farnese Gardens, Rome (1826) and Genzano (1843). Photo: Renée Maurer

Installation view of A Modern Vision at the Kimbell Art Museum

Installation view of A Modern Vision at the Kimbell Art Museum

Installation view of A Modern Vision at the Kimbell Art Museum

Installation view of A Modern Vision at the Kimbell Art Museum

Installation view of A Modern Vision at the Kimbell Art Museum

Installation view of A Modern Vision at the Kimbell Art Museum

 

Blurring the Line Between Drawing and Painting

Installation view of George Condo: The Way I Think. Photo: Lee Stalsworth

What does George Condo mean when he speaks of his “drawing paintings?” We interviewed the artist with this and other questions about his installation at the Phillips, The Way I Think. Have more questions? Join us for a conversation between Condo and Deputy Director for Curatorial and Academic Affairs Klaus Ottmann on Thursday, May 25.

What are “drawing paintings?”
George Condo: “Drawing paintings” are something that were a reaction to the consistent hierarchy that supposedly exists between drawing and painting. What I wanted to do was combine the two of them and make drawing and painting on the same level, that there was no real difference between drawing and painting and by combining pastel, charcoal, pencil, and all these various different drawing mediums on a canvas, it would be an experience for the viewer to see that drawing and painting together can exist in one—I would say—happy continuum.

How has your drawing evolved over time?
GC: Well, this show gave me a chance to figure that one out. I saw the drawings that my mother had saved from when I was 4 and 5 years old until I was about 7 or 8, and really it was all about doing everything right, and making sure I got it right, and that everything looked precise. And then once I started to understand more of the conceptual qualities of art in the 70’s and the idea of deconstructing things, and reading more about Picasso and John Cage, well at this point you have to do everything wrong. You have to break all the rules. So the evolution went from doing everything right to doing everything wrong, but still trying to make sure that the pictures themselves are intact and that there aren’t any loose ends.

Hear more in a short video: