Made in the USA, which opens tomorrow, shines a light on the strength of American artists in The Phillips Collection. 80% of our collection is by American artists. At the time of Duncan Phillips’s death in 1966, there were about 2,000 works in the collection; 1,400 were American. Many of them were by living artists and quite a few were at the beginning of their careers. The last time the museum devoted this much space to American art was in 1976, in honor of the country’s bicentennial. Through this survey of fifty years of Duncan Phillips’s collecting, we hope to illustrate how he defined the modern spirit of American Art.
Vesela Sretenović, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, installed dramatically lit sculpture in a darkly painted intimate gallery to play with light, dark, and shadow on the third floor of the house. Our collection of sculpture doesn’t get seen as often as other works and to have an entire room dedicated to these choice pieces is a treat.