Newly engaged Madeline and Benjamin.
Benjamin Krauss and Madeline Bouton got engaged inside of the Phillips’s Laib Wax Room on February 5, 2015 and caught the moment on camera. We asked the couple a few questions about their relationship and why Wolfgang Laib’s Wax Room is important to them.
How did you meet?
We met during our junior year abroad in Berlin. After realizing we were both art history majors from southern California, we knew we were onto something.
What was your first date?
We never really “dated.” After friends introduced us one night, we spent an inseparable 4 days with each other. Things never really cooled down.
Had either of you been to The Phillips Collection before the proposal? When was your first visit?
Madeline actually interned at the Phillips from February to December 2012 at the Center for the Study of Modern Art. She treasures the Phillips like nowhere else in the city.
Why did you choose the Laib Wax Room as your proposal location?
Madeline was interning at the Phillips during the room’s installation. She was one of the first people to step inside. She loved Laib’s work from that moment forward. When Ben first visited the collection, he went back to the room three times.
Laib’s use of the natural, meditative execution, and intuitively German approach strikes a deep chord with us both. Given the room’s two visitor constraint and Madeline’s history with the Phillips, it just had to be in the Wax Room.
Sam Gilliam, Red Petals, 1967. Acrylic on canvas, 88 x 93 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1967
Read in the context of today’s holiday, the description of this piece on our website struck me as especially poignant:
“Red Petals is among the first paintings in which Gilliam poured paint onto an unprimed and unstretched canvas, folded the canvas onto itself, suspended it, and left the paint to settle overnight. The next day he sponged, daubed, splattered, folded, rolled, and then restretched the canvas. Gilliam describes this delicate balance between improvisation and discipline as ‘a sort of accident, a part that I controlled, and then a part that I didn’t control, a part that I set into motion.’ The emotional intensity and expressionistic force of Red Petals partly derives from this careful manipulation and the tension between chance and control.”
Amy Wike, Marketing Manager
Alfred Stieglitz, photographer, patron, art dealer, and friend of Duncan Phillips, died on July 13, 1946.
Recently, the library was kindly given a copy of the newly published collection, My Faraway One: selected letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume I, 1915-1933. A substantial book, it is merely a selection of the 25,000 pages these two artists wrote to each other. The book donor commented to our librarian that she found the frequency and specificity of the letters to sound almost like Twitter feeds, O’Keeffe and Stieglitz updating each other on nearly every waking moment of their days. A letter on page 513 begins, “My dearest Alfred . . . I had your two registered letters yesterday afternoon- also your telegram . . . ” Another references a previous letter of 40 pages! Editor Sarah Greenough, who has had a long scholarly relationship with both artists and knew O’Keeffe, has carefully presented these intimate materials according to O’Keeffe’s spare but direct wishes: “make it beautiful and keep it honest.” The book is widely available and on sale in the Phillips shop.