May #Phillips95 Challenge: Architects of Design

Mondrian No 9_architecture_side by side

(left) Piet Mondrian Painting No. 9, between 1939 and 1942. Oil on canvas, 31 3/8 x 29 1/4 in. Gift from the estate of Katherine S. Dreier, 1953. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC (right) Photo: Emily Conforto

We’re celebrating our 95th anniversary with a year of monthly challenges and giveaways! This month’s challenge takes inspiration from Piet Mondrian’s Painting No. 9, at left above. The ample white areas can be read as either flat surface or limitless space, and the colors, placed near the edge, draw the eye away from the center. As a result, the image hovers, as though weightless, in timeless silence or suspended energy. Mondrian believed that colors expressed spiritual light as well as emotion.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Explore your city’s architecture with Mondrian’s concepts in mind. Take a photo of your favorite building and share with #Phillips95 for a chance to win two tickets (+ two free drinks!) to Phillips after 5 on June 2. We’ll announce winners May 25.

February #Phillips95 Challenge: Penny for Your Thoughts

soutine_woman in profile

Chaim Soutine, Woman in Profile, ca. 1937. Oil on canvas ,18 13/8 x 10 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1943 © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY

Portraits play an important role at The Phillips Collection. For our second monthly #Phillips95 social media challenge (celebrating the museum’s 95th anniversary), we consider Chaim Soutine’s Woman in Profile (c. 1937). The Russian artist renders his subject with an expressive face, characteristic of his portrait style. We want to know what could have her lost so deeply in thought.

YOUR CHALLENGE: What is the woman in Soutine’s Woman in Profile thinking? Respond in the comments section here, or to our social media posts on Facebook, Twitter (@PhillipsMuseum), or Instagram (@PhillipsCollection) with #Phillips95 for a chance to win four tickets the Phillips.

We’ll announce winners Tuesday, February 23. Don’t be afraid to get creative and humorous with your answer!


Need inspiration? During our Made in the USA exhibition in 2014, we asked visitors what Thomas Eakins’s Miss Amelia Van Buren was thinking. See these previous blog posts for some of the responses we received to get your ideas flowing.

January #Phillips95 Challenge: Lightplay

EK installation 2_Lee Stalsworth

Installation view of Ellsworth Kelly’s 2013 exhibition at The Phillips Collection. Photo: Lee Stalsworth

For the first monthly #Phillips95 social media challenge of the year, we’re taking inspiration from Ellsworth Kelly, who passed away at the age of 92 last month. Among his many contributions to the art world, Kelly was known for blurring the lines between painting, drawing, and sculpture, creating irregularly shaped canvases, layered reliefs, and engaging light and shadow as elements in his work.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Take a photo that plays with light and shadow and share it with #Phillips95 for a chance to win two tickets (+ two free drinks!) to Phillips after 5: Opposites Attract on February 4. We’ll announce winners Jan. 19. NOTE: we can only see your submissions if your account is public.

Kelly sculpture comparions_Lee Stalsworth_bedspring

Depending on the time of day it’s viewed, Kelly’s Untitled (EK927) can be a completely different visual experience. (left: Lee Stalsworth; right: Instagrammer @bedspring)


Visitors @papershadow and @riotmary found moments of lightplay in and around the Phillips on their trips to the museum.