Art and Family Fun Around Town

My husband and son participating in the art activity at the Kreeger Museum. Photo: Brooke Rosenblatt

Phillips devotees know that the museum’s annual Jazz ‘n’ Families Fun Days occur on the first weekend in June, and we also have a great Discovery Pack for adults and children to use together when they visit the museum any day.

In addition to these resources, I’m always looking for new opportunities for  free-spirited, art-related family fun. This fall, several organizations in the metropolitan area are offering great programs, and best of all they are free! Here’s a recent adventure undertaken by my own museum-going family and a few upcoming events we’re looking forward to.

Last Sunday we participated in the Biennial Kreeger Museum Open House. My husband, our two-year-old son, and I all enjoyed the story time and the sculptural stick art project designed by Eileen Wold. We took the opportunity to experience Dan Steinhilber’s special exhibition Marlin Underground. My son particularly loved seeing how the artist used an array of everyday objects to make music.

October offers other free opportunities for families at area cultural organizations. This Sunday, we’re headed to Artisphere for  Free Family Day Open House. We went last year and discovered a magic performance by David London, who I’m pleased to see will return this year. Later in the month we’re checking out the Corcoran’s Community Day, which looks really great with a series of fun art making workshops.

Hope to see you there, and please feel free to share other family-oriented  programs you know about in the comments section!

The Best Day

Hand-drawn illustration of Phillips founder Duncan Phillips, in profle, by local illustrator and Phillips staff member Elizabeth Graeber.

An illustration of Duncan Phillips, founder of D.C.'s "Best Museum", by D.C.'s "Best Local Illustrator" Elizabeth Graeber.

Today Washington City Paper released the results of its 2012 “Best of D.C.” readers’ poll. We were very excited, proud, and grateful to see The Phillips Collection in first place for both Best Museum and Best Art Gallery for a third consecutive year. While we don’t fit perfectly into the “art gallery” category (an understandable mistake, as even our original name confuses the issue), we so appreciate all of you for showing the love.

Degas’s Dancers at the Barre was a runner up in the Best Exhibit category, behind the Corcoran‘s important 30 Americans show (which included work by William Pope.L who we’re excited to spend time with next week at the final Conversations with Artists program of the season).

Last but by no means least, we would like to take this opportunity to publicly high five the talented Elizabeth Graeber–last seen behind the counter in the Phillips museum shop or admissions desk–on earning City Paper‘s staff pick for Best Local Illustrator. Her work for this blog has infused it with creative energy and a hand-made aesthetic that’s right on point for a blog about the creative processes of staff at America’s first museum of modern art.



Ocean Park on the Road

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 38, 1971, Oil on canvas, 100 3/16 x 81 in., Gift of Gifford and Joann Phillips, 1999, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. © The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn.

We’ve missed Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park No. 38 as it tours the country on loan in the traveling exhibition Richard Diebenkorn: the Ocean Park Series. But No. 38 contributes to an exhibition that brings together the pivotal  works of the artist’s “Ocean Series” for the first time, and it won’t be long before it’s back in D.C.

After a trip to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth last year and a stay through May 27 at the Orange County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, the exhibition makes its final stop at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in late June.

With a number of works in The Phillips Collection, Diebenkorn has become one of the cornerstone artists of the museum. Founder Duncan Phillips took a shining to Interior with View of the Ocean, purchasing it in the late 1950s and giving the artist his first East Coast solo museum show.