Congenial Spirits: Chagall and Bonnard (Off the Walls)

As the galleries are closed to the public today, curator Elsa Smithgall took the opportunity to bring out the Phillips’s monumental The Terrace (1918) by Pierre Bonnard alongside other paintings by the artist in our permanent collection. Bonnard’s work is presented in conversation with this dreamy painting by Marc Chagall. You can visit them beginning tomorrow, but for now here’s an off-the-wall preview.

Stay tuned for a series of spotlight talks about Chagall’s painting at noon every Thursday in January. The spotlights anticipate a theater program here at the Phillips on January 31, which will preview the world premiere of a play created by Double Edge Theatre that is inspired by Chagall’s work—The Grand Parade (of the Twentieth Century)—on stage at Arena February 6–10.

(clockwise from top) Marc Chagall's The Dream (1939) and Pierre Bonnard's The Terrace (1918) take their positions and wait to be hung. Bonnard's The Open Window (1921) and The Checkered Tablecloth (c. 1925) will soon hang side by side. Bonnard's Interior With Boy (1910) and Bowl of Cherries (1920) await placement.

(clockwise from top) Marc Chagall’s The Dream (1939) and Pierre Bonnard’s The Terrace (1918) take their positions and wait to be hung. Bonnard’s The Open Window (1921) and The Checkered Tablecloth (c. 1925) will soon hang side by side. Bonnard’s Interior With Boy (1910) and Bowl of Cherries (1920) await placement.

We’re Big in Qatar

From the Gulf Times newspaper, Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

Preparator Alec MacKaye got a funny e-mail from a friend who, teaching Irish literature at Georgetown University’s Doha campus in Qatar, was quite amused to not only see a photo from home in his local Gulf Times newspaper, but also to find that it featured his friend Alec at work. Icing on the cake that Alec was walking a giant wrapped bear sculpture down the sidewalk. You know, just a normal day for a museum preparator

Ink, Sand, and Ektacolor: Conversations in Christenberry

(clockwise from upper left) Contemporary photographs from The Phillips Collection, including William Christenberry's "Gourd Tree, near Akron, Alabama" (1981); William Christenberry, "Southern Monument XI", 1983. Mixed media, wood, metal, signage, roofing materials and paint, 19 in x 28 1/2 in x 19 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Gift of Philip M. Smith, 2004; two ink paintings by William Christenberry, "Tree" (2006) and "Night Landscape" (2004), both German ink on sandpaper; 11 x 9 inches. Gift of Sandra and William Christenberry, 2010. Photos: Joshua Navarro

(clockwise from upper left) Contemporary photographs from The Phillips Collection, including William Christenberry’s “Gourd Tree, near Akron, Alabama” (1981); William Christenberry, “Southern Monument XI”, 1983. Mixed media, wood, metal, signage, roofing materials and paint, 19 in x 28 1/2 in x 19 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Gift of Philip M. Smith, 2004; two ink paintings by William Christenberry, “Tree” (2006) and “Night Landscape” (2004), both German ink on sandpaper; 11 x 9 inches. Gift of Sandra and William Christenberry, 2010. Photos: Joshua Navarro

We posted earlier this week about a group of contemporary photographs now on view outside the Rothko Room. The presentation includes nine artists, including William Christenberry who is based in D.C. and has a show up through Oct. 27 at Hemphill Fine Arts. While the installation is focused on photography, Curator Elsa Smithgall saw an opportunity to set up dialogues between photography, painting, and sculpture and chose to include examples of Christenberry’s work in all three media.  In addition to his soulful photographic landscapes of the South, you will discover exquisite ink paintings on sandpaper and a bold Southern Monument sculpture.