Miss Amelia Van Buren and Otis Skinner Host a Gathering in Fort Worth

Phillips Associate Curator for Research Susan Behrends Frank and Amon Carter Director Andrew Walker with Augustus Vincent Tack's Aspiration (1931). Photo: Matt Golden

Phillips Associate Curator for Research Susan Behrends Frank and Amon Carter Director Andrew Walker with Augustus Vincent Tack’s Aspiration (1931). Photo: Matt Golden

Earlier this month, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art opened To See As Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection. The galleries were crowded with guests during receptions on Oct. 3 and 5, and Susan Behrends Frank, the Phillips curator responsible for the show, had the pleasure of being among them.

The Amon Carter threw two wonderful opening parties to celebrate The Phillips Collection’s American art show, the largest special exhibition the Carter has ever presented. On both evenings I gave a short presentation about Duncan Phillips and his lifelong commitment to American art and artists. Everyone attending expressed such excitement about the exhibition and how happy they are to have it in Fort Worth. It was a great time had by all, including yours truly.

Susan Behrends Frank, Associate Curator for Research

 

George Luks's personality-filled 1919 canvas of Otis Skinner as Col. Philippe at left with a gallery of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings beyond. Photo: Matt Golden

George Luks’s personality-filled 1919 canvas of Otis Skinner as Col. Philippe at left with a gallery of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings beyond. Photo: Matt Golden

Guests encounter Thomas Eakins's Miss Amelia Van Buren (c. 1891), one of the Phillips's American masterworks, at the Amon Carter Museum. Photo: Matt Golden

Guests encounter Thomas Eakins’s Miss Amelia Van Buren (c. 1891), one of the Phillips’s American masterworks, at the Amon Carter Museum. Photo: Matt Golden

Tack goes to Texas

Assistant Curator Shirley Reece-Hughes of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art guest blogs about her experience installing To See As Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection. Following an international tour with stops in Rovereto, Madrid, Tokyo, Nashville, and (next year) Tampa, the exhibition opens at the Fort Worth museum this Saturday, October 6.

Photo of Augustus Vincent Tack's Aspiration (1931) installed at the Amon Carter  Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX. (Oil on canvas, 74 1/4 in x 134 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1932.)

Augustus Vincent Tack’s Aspiration (1931) installed at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX. (Oil on canvas, 74 1/4 in x 134 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1932.)

For the past several months, our staff at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art has anxiously awaited To See as Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection. With works arriving in Fort Worth last week, this masterful collection of American art has exceeded expectations. It is a curator’s dream to work with paintings of this caliber, and we have delighted in every moment of the installation process.

Featuring an exhibition of this size presents a new and exciting challenge for us. Our special exhibition galleries alone could not accommodate the more than 100 extraordinary works in To See as Artists See, so we extended the exhibition into two of our permanent collection galleries. We installed the exquisite, mural-sized painting Aspiration (1931) by Augustus Vincent Tack on the first floor of the museum, where it greets our visitors.

One of the most exciting aspects of seeing the works from the Phillips in our museum is realizing how beautifully they complement the Amon Carter collection. After our visitors have a chance to go through the first part of To See as Artists See in the special exhibition galleries, they pass through our permanent collection galleries on their way to the second part. This pathway enables visitors to discover the affinities between these two great collections of American art. The first time I made this journey, the Amon Carter’s permanent collection felt new to me, as if I was looking at it for the first time. The Phillips and Amon Carter collections feature many of the same noteworthy artists, including Thomas Eakins, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, George Inness, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Bringing them into close proximity allows us to see how artists have maintained the integrity of their vision in their body of work.

 Shirley Reece-Hughes, Assistant Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Director’s Desk: Augustus Vincent Tack

Director Dorothy Kosinski with works by Augustus Vincent Tack installed in the Music Room. Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

Over the summer, I presented a gallery talk on a series of 12 works by Augustus Vincent Tack, commissioned by Duncan Phillips in 1928. It is currently reinstalled in the wood-paneled Music Room, for which it was originally created.  Below are excerpts from the discussion. Join me on December 15 at 6:30 pm for the next in our series of Director’s Perspectives, this time on work by Joseph Marioni

Duncan Phillips and Augustus Vincent Tack met in 1914 and developed a deep and enduring friendship. Painter and patron had a lot in common:  both were born in Pittsburgh and both had deep ties to Yale. Tack played an important role in fostering Duncan Phillips’s appreciation of the power and beauty of modern art.

The Phillips Collection owns seventy-five Tack paintings. “Tack” never became a household name. Whether Tack was fashionable was not the point. Duncan Phillips was passionately engaged in supporting emerging American artists alongside Europeans. The project was never about a suite of trophies, but about getting to know the artist and collecting his work in depth. Continue reading “Director’s Desk: Augustus Vincent Tack” »