For The Birds (Of Prey)


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!

Anyone for Phillips Staff Uniforms?

Braque Birds in painting, fashion and sculpture

(Left) Georges Braque, Bird, 1956, Oil on canvas; 18 x 19 1/2 in.; 45.72 x 49.53 cm.. Acquired 1966. (Center) Yves Saint Laurent, Wedding dress, Tribute to Georges Braque, haute couture collection, Spring-Summer 1988. White tulle, white cotton piqué appliqué “doves.” ©Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris / Photo A. Guirkinger. (Right) Pierre Bourdelle's sculpture for the Phillips Collection Sant Building based on Braque's bird. Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

My colleague and fellow fashion-lover Colleen Hennessey alerted me to this stunning wedding dress by Yves Saint Laurent, currently featured in the retrospective of the designer’s career at the Denver Art Museum. The dress from the Spring-Summer collection for 1988 is a tribute to Georges Braque and features his iconic birds, as found in the Phillips Collection and the inspiration for the Pierre Bourdelle sculpture on the front of our building. The shape has also been used for museum letterhead, library bookplates, and visitor pins. I vote for adopting this as a staff uniform.

1 Year: Birthday Birds

Braque’s Bird (1956) inspired The Experiment Station‘s avian avatar, which in turn inspired these winged 1st anniversary gifts. Manager of Public Programs and In-Gallery Interpretation Brooke Rosenblatt‘s cloud-shaped card shows Braque’s bird swooping in to blow out a candle. Museum Assistant (and artist) Joshua Navarro folded a paper crane with best wishes. And  Conservation Fellow Patti Favero layered strips of paper and gold glitter to craft our blog a cozy nest.

A cloud card with hand drawn Braque bird and birthday cake by Brooke Rosenblatt

By Brooke Rosenblatt

Photo of oragami crane card by anonymouse contributor with experimental nest by Patti Favero

Origami crane card by Joshua Navarro with experimental nest by Patti Favero