Six Words for an AAM Experience

Amy Wike and Margaret Collerd discuss Phillips After 5 with visitors at the Marketplace of Ideas.<br />Photo: Suzanne Wright

Amy Wike and Margaret Collerd discuss Phillips After 5 with visitors at the Marketplace of Ideas.
Photo: Suzanne Wright

On May 19–22, several staff members from the Phillips ventured to Baltimore to attend the American Alliance of Museums’ annual conference. Appropriately, the conference coincided with Baltimore Museum Week, during which members of the community were encouraged to visit local museums and to share their stories by describing their “most unforgettable museum experience” in just six words as part of the Six Words Project. Now that we’re back at the Phillips, excited about all we learned during the conference, we decided to challenge ourselves to sum up our experiences, again in just six words. Here’s what we came up with!

Inspired! Now, I’m excited to implement.

Margaret Collerd, Public Programs and In-Gallery Interpretation Coordinator

Utterly galvanized by inspired collective wisdom.

Michele De Shazo, Museum Supervisor

All my people in one room.

Meagan Estep, Teacher Programs Coordinator

Overwhelmed and exhilarated, opposites inspire action.

Natalie Mann, School, Outreach, and Family Programs Coordinator

Some things aren’t measured in dollars.

Lydia O’Connor, Finance Assistant

Cyber café conversations with creative colleagues.

Paul Ruther, Manager of Teacher Programs

Shrinky dinks, kindred spirits, infinite inspiration.

Amy Wike, Publicity and Marketing Coordinator

Inspired by colleagues, sparked by staff.

Suzanne Wright, Director of Education


Left: Amy Wike and Margaret Collerd show off the crowns they made at the Visionary Art Museum.
Right: A photo booth at the Visionary Art Museum, showing the conference theme, “The Power of Story.”
Photos: Meagan Estep

Natalie Mann and Meagan Estep excitedly palm a reproduction of Degas' Before the Race, on display on a street in Baltimore, via The Walters Art Museum. Photo: Margaret Collerd

Natalie Mann and Meagan Estep excitedly palm a reproduction of Degas’ Before the Race, on display on a street in Baltimore, via the Walters Art Museum. Photo: Margaret Collerd

Phillips Flashback: June 15, 1923

The Phillips family house at 21st and Q Streets NW, built in 1897

The Phillips family house at 21st and Q Streets NW, built in 1897. (Left) Circa 1900, the house as originally conceived. (Right) 1930s, after the House had been expanded three times, the most recent addition in 1923 to add Marjorie's studio, a library, and nursery as a fourth floor. Photos: Phillips Collection Archives

The Phillipses are granted a building permit by the District of Columbia for an addition designed by local architect Frank H. Brooke. The permit calls for “a full fourth story by changing the present roof and making a mansard roof . . .” which provides Marjorie Phillips with studio space for painting, as well as a small library and a nursery. The estimated cost for the work is $6,500.

Take Your Child to Work Day at the Phillips

April 26 was Take Your Child to Work Day, so Lena my 10-year-old daughter came with me to the museum after school.  In honor of the Snapshot exhibition, I thought it might be fun to give her my camera and let her loose in the galleries and see what or who she found visually interesting. I did not limit her to responding just to the artwork–she could photograph anything she wanted or anyone (with their permission of course). In considering the artist’s process, here are some of the snapshots she took that day and descriptions of what she found interesting about the photos.

Lena: I came to the museum with my dad for Take your Child to Work Day. We thought it would be fun to make a blog post about the interesting photos that I took. Here are my favorite five photos of the many I took that day, and why I like them.

This one is of Sue, I thought she was interesting because her bow is really big, and she made a funny face for the photo. Also, I think it looks cool that she is next to the painting called Woman Sweepingby Edouard Vuillard. Did you know Sue takes photos for the blog? Now she is on the blog.

Sue Ahn and Vuillard

Sue Ahn in front of Edouard Vuillard’s Woman Sweeping. Photos: Lena Ruther and Paul Ruther

This one is of the hygrothermograph. This is not a piece of art–it is a machine that measures the moisture in the air. I took this photo because it is very unusual looking and at first I didn’t know what it was. Also, I knew that it would look cool with the flash reflecting on the glass.



This is a painting called Girl with Mirrorby Walt Kuhn. I chose this because I thought it would be fun to see the difference between the girl in the painting and me. Here I am  posed like her.

Lena with Kuhn

Lena with Walt Kuhn’s Girl with Mirror

I like this one a lot, the second I saw it at the bottom of the staircase, I knew I had to pose with it. I like all the different shapes and patterns, and it reminds me of a very cluttered room like mine. My dad stood at the top of the staircase so he was looking down on me when he took the picture.

Lena with Gatch

Lena with Lee Gatch’s Night Fishing

I saved the best for last–this is my favorite picture: Leo Villareal’s Scramble. My dad told me that if you remove the cover of the box, underneath are a lot of lights. I thought that was cool. Also I liked how the light from this artwork reflected on the other paintings in that room. These walls are not actually this bright red, I just played with the picture on the computer to make it look more interesting.

Leo Villareal's Scramble, 2011.

Leo Villareal’s Scramble, 2011

I really had fun visiting the museum and doing lots of fun things. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed my day at the Phillips.

Lena Ruther, fourth grader at Rolling Terrace Elementary School
where her artwork can frequently be seen in student exhibitions