The Artist Sees Differently: Darci Vanderhoff

Darci Vanderhoff, Chief Information Officer, on the mic

Darci Vanderhoff, Chief Information Officer, on the mic! Photo: Joshua Navarro

DARCI VANDERHOFF, Chief Information Officer

How did you learn about the Phillips?

I originally came to Phillips exhibitions as an art enthusiast. One of my favorite shows was Impressionists in Winter in 1998. I didn’t even mind the long lines (once I got inside). Several years later, I came to sell the Phillips on the idea of online ticketing. Then, in 2001, I applied for the IT Director position when it became available at the museum.

You formerly worked as a writer, you’re a musician in a band. Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art? 

I worked at the editorial desk of the Washington office of the Wall Street Journal for a number of years, and then left to freelance in both writing and photography. I was published locally as well as in Dallas, Detroit, and other cities. I did research for Judy Woodruff’s book This is Judy Woodruff at the White HouseRadcliffe College’s Arthur Schlesinger Library (a women’s archive) holds a collection of my articles and photographs. I eventually became a music critic, and at the suggestion of musician friends, I decided to attend music school myself. It was a radical idea to me, so I took to it immediately. After getting my feet wet in a local music school for a year, I enrolled at Berklee College of Music in the mid-1980s with a scholarship.

I am a musician. I primarily sing but also write. My degree is in songwriting. I am one of thirteen in the local band Cleve Francis and Friends. We routinely play at The Birchmere in Alexandra, Virginia, and at local benefits. We released a CD, Storytime: Live at the Birchmere, in 2009. In addition to singing, I am the “administrator” of the group: setting rehearsal schedules, digitally recording rehearsals, distributing recordings, managing databases, etc., which is where my digital skill-set comes in handy. I am the only woman in the group. Go figure. I recently joined a smaller group doing more instrumental music across a wide spectrum of genres. Instrumentation includes keyboards, guitar, upright bass, and vocals (three of us sing). I’m having fun doing lead vocals again.

Yes, I am inspired by the art at the Phillips, and even more by the artists who work here. Most of my coworkers are brilliantly creative people.

Do you listen to anything as you do your artwork?

My “artwork” is primarily music. I listen to a lot of music during my work commute, but I also use that time to prep for shows. The rehearsing could be considered a driving distraction, I guess, but it’s been a part of my commute for some time, so I think I balance the two well. Don’t tell anyone.

Who’s your favorite artist in the collection?

I am very fond of Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Paul Dougherty, Childe Hassam, Gustave Courbet, and our growing photography collections.                   

Do you collect other artwork – or anything?

I collect a few things:  I have a striped beach rock collection, mostly from Plum Island in Massachusetts where I strolled often while going to school. I have a Washington Nationals bobble-head collection that is in need of attention. I also collect art. One of my favorite acquisitions was purchased from one of the Phillips museum assistants in a staff show: a colorful photograph of multiple faucet handles from an abandoned steel mill in Pittsburgh. Clearly, I trend toward water themes.

 And do you have a favorite Marjorie Phillips painting?

I like Nuns on the Roof, too.

Hear Darci’s song, “Every Little Bit”

-Rolf Rykken

 

Happy Birthday Georgia O’Keeffe

Detail from letter, Phillips Collection Archives

By 1926, Duncan Phillips had three paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe in his collection. (Two of those remain today: My Shanty, Lake George and Pattern of Leaves.) In his book, Collection in the Making (1926), Phillips says of O’Keeffe, “All must recognize the potency of her pallette. A blue petunia will cause blue to become an emotional experience in and of itself.”

The Artist Sees Differently: Rachel Goldberg

Rachel Goldberg, Manager of School, Outreach, and Family Programs

Self-portrait by Rachel Goldberg

How did you learn about the Phillips?

I learned about the Phillips while researching Georgia O’Keeffe’s process for distributing her husband, Alfred Stieglitz’s, collection of photographs to major museums after his death. She chose very specific works for each museum to which she gave the work—the Phillips was given a small group of Stieglitz’s Equivalents.

Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips artwork?

Definitely.

Do you work in digital or film — and do you listen to anything when you work on your photographs?

I work in whatever photographic medium best suits my current project. I have a particular interest in historic, 19th-century photographic processes, but I also enjoy the immediacy of digital.

What I’m listening to when I’m working on my photographs really depends on where I am in the process. When I’m out in the world photographing, I think the sounds of my surroundings inform the way I compose the images. When I’m in the darkroom I’m usually listening to something pretty mellow on my iPod, and at the computer I like to stream my favorite radio station back in Denver. Continue reading “The Artist Sees Differently: Rachel Goldberg” »