Happy Birthday Charles Sheeler!

Sheeler_Skyscrapers

Charles Sheeler, Skyscrapers, 1922. Oil on canvas, 20 x 13 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1926

Born this day in 1883 was American artist Charles Sheeler. His work Syscrapers, on view in Made in the USA, was the first painting by the artist to enter a museum collection. It is one of Sheeler’s most accomplished assimilations of European modernism into a uniquely American style know today as precisionism. Sheeler elicited beauty from the stark reality of New York office buildings and the utilitarian aspects of industrial America.

A Grand Birthday for Alvin Langdon Coburn

In  honor of the great American photographer, born this day in 1882, his gelatin silver print The Great Temple, Grand Canyon (1911) is currently on view upstairs in the original Phillips house.

Alvin Langdon Coburn, The Great Temple, Grand Canyon, 1911. Gelatin silver print, 13 x 15 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Gift of the Phillips Contemporaries, 2006. Photo: Joshua Navarro

Alvin Langdon Coburn, The Great Temple, Grand Canyon, 1911. Gelatin silver print, 13 x 15 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Gift of the Phillips Contemporaries, 2006. Photo: Joshua Navarro

Birthday Candles for Henri Rousseau

French artist Henri Rousseau was born on this day in 1844. His still life The Pink Candle (1908), acquired by Duncan Phillips in 1930 along with Notre Dame (1909), is currently on view upstairs in the original Phillips house as part of Jeanne Silverthorne’s Vanitas! project for the Intersections series. The little painting hangs to the right of a doorway framing Silverthorne’s tour de force in silicone rubber–DNA Candelabra (showing the beginning genetic sequence for depression, anxiety, addiction, anger, and panic) on rubber crate (2007).

Henri Rousseau, The Pink Candle, 1908. Oil on canvas, 6 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1930.

Henri Rousseau, The Pink Candle, 1908. Oil on canvas, 6 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1930.

Installation view of Rousseau's The Pink Candle in conversation with Jeanne Silverthorne's work in Vanitas! on view through June 2 as part of the Intersections series. Photo: Lee Stalsworth

Installation view of Rousseau’s The Pink Candle in conversation with Jeanne Silverthorne’s work in Vanitas! on view through June 2 as part of the Intersections series. Photo: Lee Stalsworth

Exhibition at the Phillips Collection, Washington DC

Installation view of Jeanne Silverthorne’s DNA Candelabra (showing the beginning genetic sequence for depression, anxiety, addiction, anger, and panic) on rubber crate, 2007. Platinum, silicone rubber, and phosphorescent pigment, Overall 64 x 60 x 47 in. Courtesy artist and McKee Gallery, New York. Photo: Lee Stalsworth