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?


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” »

A New Artist in The Phillips Collection

Tobi Kahn, Lyie, 1991. Acrylic on board, 32 x 12 x 1-3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Gift of Victoria Schonfeld in memory of her parents, Hilde and Sydney Schonfeld. Photo: Klaus Ottmann

Last June The Phillips Collection acquired its first painting by the New York artist Tobi Kahn, Lyie (1991). It has now been installed in the spiral staircase of the museum’s Goh Annex. Given by Victoria Schonfeld in memory of her parents, the painting is one of Kahn’s most important paintings of his mature period when forms other than landscape, such as flowers, became a dominant theme. Like most of Kahn’s paintings, Lyie is built up of about 20 layers, beginning with modeling paste containing marble dust on top of white underpainting, followed by opaque paint layers, and finally, a layer of translucent washes.

Earlier this year, Kahn gave an inspiring keynote address at the Phillips during its Art & Innovation Design Gathering, an annual meeting of creative minds that is jointly presented by the Phillips and the University of Virginia.

This week Kahn was invited to speak at Georgetown University by the Program for Jewish Civilization. In conversation with Ori Soltes who teaches theology, philosophy, and art history at Georgetown University, Kahn spoke passionately about how he does not consider himself a Jewish artist or a painter or a sculptor, but just an artist; yet at the same time he cannot separate the knowledge of his Jewish heritage from art history. This combination undoubtedly contributes to Kahn’s unique style of painting that seems equally influenced by Jewish mysticism, such as the color symbolism of the Kabbalah, and the tradition of American modernism, so richly represented by The Phillips Collection’s holdings of Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Toward the end of the conversation, Kahn expressed gratitude to The Phillips Collection for his painting being given such generous placement: “Artists always want to have more space, ” he added, “The Phillips Collection is the perfect space.”

Tobi Kahn in conversation with Ori Soltes at Georgetown University, September 20, 2011. Photo: Klaus Ottmann

In Honor of Women’s Equality Day

Berthe Morisot, Two Girls, c. 1894. Oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 21 1/4 inches. Acquired 1925. Paintings, 1390, French.

We’re celebrating Women’s Equality Day, so proclaimed because women in the U.S. were given the right to vote on August 26, 1920, with a look at some of our favorite women artists in the Phillips’s collection. You’ll see the above work by Berthe Morisot on display in the galleries, along with Helen Frankenthaler‘s Runningscape, several works by Georgia O’Keeffe, and pieces by Dorothy Dehner. Staff favorites include Berenice Abbott, Imogen Cunningham, Jackie FerraraLoren MacIver, Irene Rice Pereira, Alma Thomas, and of course, Marjorie Phillips. Who are some of your favorite women artists?