The Artist Sees Differently: Champneys Taylor

CHAMPNEYS TAYLOR, control room operator

Champ Taylor taking a break from the basement control room in the sculpture courtyard. Photo: Claire Norman

How did you learn about the Phillips?
I first visited the Phillips in the mid-1990’s as a tourist from Kansas City, which is where I was living at the time. However, it was after I moved to Washington and began working at the Phillips that I really started to learn about the museum. As a Museum Assistant I enjoyed the fact that being in the galleries for long periods of time encouraged me to reconsider my first impressions of the works. Often I would leave at the end of my workday with greatly revised opinions about works I had spent so much time with.
Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art?
Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix’s Horses Coming Out of the Sea is coloristic and luminous. It is classical and wants to be taken seriously on the basis of its poetics. Paul Cézanne’s Garden at Les Lauves features at least three distinctive horizons, giving it a temporal quality which is heightened by its ‘unfinished’ appearance. By contrast Oscar Bluemner’s Oranges is utterly groundless (and would be at home in any number of contemporary art spaces). Here I should mention that I once had the privilege (with Preparator Bill Koberg presiding) of resting this small painting on the five fingertips of my left hand. Continue reading “The Artist Sees Differently: Champneys Taylor” »

Law and Order: Phillips Edition

Ever been to a dinner party in Washington, D.C. and not met an attorney or someone who went to law school? Wonder what happens when people leave law school behind in favor of artistic vocations?

CakeLove’s Warren Brown stopped practicing law in 2002 to start a bakery, and the Pink Line Project’s Chief Creative Contrarian Philippa Hughes also worked as a lawyer and lobbyist until 2003. I’m sure there are scores of other creatives who’ve joined the ex-lawyer club.

Washington, D.C. takes the legal cake in this map of U.S. career concentration by city from Richard Florida's 2008 book "Who's Your City."

Several artists included in The Phillips Collection initially set out to become lawyers. Here are a few notables; I think art history is glad they changed career paths! Continue reading “Law and Order: Phillips Edition” »

Young Vocalists Paint the Music Room with Sound

A Wolf Trap Opera performer responds to Henri Matisse's Studio Quai Saint-Michel (1916) with Stephen Sondheim's I'm Losing My Mind (1971). Photo courtesy Wolf Trap Opera.

I was a classical cellist before falling in love with art history, and one of the things that I love about The Phillips Collection is the way art of all kinds is brought together in conversation.  In this spirit, the Phillips is hosting singers from Wolf Trap’s bright and talented Filene Young Artists tomorrow at 6:30 pm. Vocal performances are paired with multimedia presentations of works from the Collection – some highlights include pairings of Schubert with Cézanne and Stephen Sondheim’s I’m losing my Mind with Studio Quai Saint-Michel by Matisse.  The vocalists will perform in the Phillips’s lush, Victorian music room, where Duncan Phillips and his brother used to relax while they plunked out tunes on the grand piano, making plans for their budding art collection.

Check out some photos from Sunday’s rehearsal!

-Evelyn Gardett, Graduate Intern for Lectures and Programs