In 1922, one year after The Phillips Collection opened to the public, Duncan Phillips explored the idea of opening a branch of the museum in New York. He reached out to Frank Rehn, a gallery owner, and A.C. Downing, Jr., of the New York Trust Company, for advice. Phillips’s treasurer, Dwight Clark, inquired about the location of the future art center of New York and specifically asked for information on the value of properties on 57th Street between Lexington Avenue and Sutton Place as well as within the bounds of Lexington Avenue, Sixth Avenue, 50th Street, and 70th Street. The New York branch never came to be because Phillips decided to make acquisitions of works of art a priority. Phillips paid $125,000 for The Luncheon of the Boating Party in 1923, which exhausted the funds needed for purchases as well as real estate.
In the spring and summer of 1910, Duncan Phillips traveled with his family to Korea as part of a long journey to Asia and the northwestern United States. Phillips’s father, Major Duncan Clinch Phillips, said in his journal that the family stayed at the Sontag Hotel, a hotel catering to Western visitors.
On this 128th anniversary of Phillips’s birth, some of the most impressive examples of his art collecting are going on display at the Daejeon Museum of Art in central Korea. A team of curators (Sue Frank and Renée Maurer), registrars (Joe Holbach and Trish Waters), and one of our preparators (Bill Koberg) flew around the globe last week to oversee the effort of installing this large traveling show.
During their down time, assistant curator Renée Maurer, chief registrar and director of special initiatives Joe Holbach, and installations manager Bill Koberg have done some sightseeing around Daejeon and north in the capital Seoul.