Staff Show 2016: Elizabeth Sampson

In this series, Education Specialist for Public Programs Emily Bray highlights participants in the 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through September 19, 2016.

Elizabeth Sampson, "Peshawar Series: Gulmeena and Spina"

Elizabeth Sampson, “Peshawar Series: Gulmeena and Spina”

Elizabeth Sampson

Elizabeth Sampson, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Elizabeth Sampson, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Tell us about yourself and your work.

As an artist who grew up in Peshawar, Pakistan I find myself affected by current events and social issues that are consuming that area of the world. Pakistan today is a changing country. At times, its people are being overtaken by disasters both natural and unnatural. Suicide bombs. Drone attacks. Floods. The daily tragedies of Pakistan haunt my work as I turn from the past and am shaken by the present. I paint in response to the violent and tragic events occurring in my home. This work reflects my narrative as a multi-national artist caught in the crossfire between the East and the West.

What do you do at The Phillips Collection?

I am a School Programs Educator.

Who is/are your favorite artist/artists in the collection?

Jacob Lawrence. I think the struggle and determination of people in transition shown through The Migration Series resonates so strongly throughout the globe.

What is your favorite gallery or space within The Phillips Collection?

I enjoy the “Klee” corner.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2016 Staff Show (or your work in general)?

This work is a reference to my childhood in Pakistan. I was inspired by Pakistani miniature paintings of myths and sagas, and created my own scenes of memories of my home country.

Find more of Sampson’s work on her website.

The 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show will be on view August 16 through September 19, 2016. The show features artwork from the Phillips Collection staff.

Coping with Cancer Through Art

Randy head shot

Randy Bostic

Los Angeles-based Randy Bostic voted The Phillips Collection “Best Museum off the Mall” in Washington City Paper’s Best of DC 2015. She explains why in this guest blog post. 

I live in Los Angeles. I started coming to DC regularly in 2011 because of chemotherapy treatments at the NIH for a rare cancer. To pass the time during the weeklong treatment periods, I was always visiting different places in and around DC. On my third trip, I first went to the Phillips. I was amazed at the depth and variety of the art, especially Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, The Rothko Room, and the setting of the two buildings. I soon stopped going to other museums, and every trip I would make my pilgrimage to the Phillips. I realized that I got more out of coming to the Phillips repeatedly than I did going to different places each trip. Sometimes friends and family would accompany me on my bimonthly “chemo vacations,” and I found myself taking them to the Phillips as well. Knowing that I had the Phillips to look forward to on my trips really helped me get through a very difficult time.

Now I am 4 years into remission. Whenever I go to the NIH for check ups, I stop at the Phillips. The gallery feels like an old friend, a support, an inspiration to me. Whenever I walk in, I feel like I am surrounded by such a powerful life force. The Phillips is more than a museum to me. Lawrence, Rothko, Klee, the Laib Wax Room, and the rest got me through so much. It was a healing place to me.

Randy Bostic

Let’s Dance: More Phillips Pop Culture Moments

See other Phillips Pop Culture Moments

How could it be that we’ve never noticed this before? Museum Assistant and blog super-tipster, Ianthe Gergel, sent me a link to David Bowie’s Let’s Dance video, telling me to pause it at the 2 minute, 40 second mark, and of course, clear as a bell, there is our Paul Klee Printed Sheet with Picture (1937). And she also identified the painting on the right as Picasso’s The Three Dancers (1925).