Kandinsky’s World of Influence

(Left) Tomoko and Elizabeth catalog the book. (Center) A full-color plate. (Right) The book binding and slipcase.

Volunteer Tomoko Kanekiyo assists library intern Elizabeth Cawrse-Matthews in cataloguing a rare copy of Wassily Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art, translated and published in Japanese in 1924. The powerful treatise on abstraction was first published in 1911. Soon translated and sold around the world, Kandinsky’s thoughts on color and form were vastly influential. The Phillips library also recently acquired an edition in Spanish, published in Argentina in 1956. Both editions will be on display as part of Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence: Painting with White Border, June 11–September 4, 2011.

Library Paradise

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges

In honor of National Library Week (April 10-16, 2011), let’s look at how far The Phillips Collection library has come! The library was established in 1976 in a space on the fourth floor of the house, a beautiful light-filled room that had previously served as Laughlin Phillips’s baby nursery, Marjorie Phillips’s painting studio, and the Phillips Gallery Art School.

Phillips Gallery Art School, fourth floor of original house, c. 1930s. The Phillips Collection Archives.

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