The Artist Sees Differently: Caroline Hoover

Caroline Hoover helping out in the Phillips’ Conservation studio. Photo: Joshua Navarro

Caroline Hoover, Museum Assistant, Conservation Intern

How did you learn about the Phillips?

I learned about the Phillips because my great aunt [Elizabeth Turner] used to be a curator here. At the time, we came up to see her shows and visit the Phillips.

Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art?

I would say that I’m inspired by the Phillips art; there is a lot to take from the works in terms of formal technique in a lot of the older impressionist works and creativity and innovation found in the new works by contemporary artists.

What do you listen to as you create?

I always listen to music when I am painting, but honestly it depends on the mood I’m in, and I usually switch genres a few times before I’m satisfied.

Who’s your favorite artist in the collection?

Edgar Degas

What painting in the collection do you wish you’d painted?

Pierre Bonnard’s The Riviera

Do you collect other artwork – or anything?

When I studied abroad in Europe and Africa, I collected artwork from a lot of the countries I visited. A lot of it was street artwork, but also some from galleries. I usually collect at least a postcard of works that I especially like in other collections/museums.

And do you have a favorite Marjorie Phillips painting?

To be honest, the only one that I’ve seen is Night Baseball. But, I do like that one a lot.

Caroline Hoover, "Untitled," oil on canvas, 3' x 4'

Caroline Hoover, “Untitled,” oil on canvas, 3′ x 4′

-Rolf Rykken


William Merritt Chase: Hide and Seek

William Merritt Chase, Hide and Seek, 1888. Oil on canvas, 27 5/8 x 35 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1923.

Hide and Seek is one of my favorite paintings in The Phillips Collection. Notable for its restraint, it is a marvel of visual economy. Hide and Seek was not a typical work for Chase, who was known for his tendency to paint cluttered interiors. His studio was filled with curios from all corners of the world, including a white Russian wolfhound, two macaws, and a cockatoo. There are only four objects in Hide and Seek, and Chase makes each one count Continue reading “William Merritt Chase: Hide and Seek” »

Phillips Petting Zoo: Pierre Bonnard

Installation view of two works by Pierre Bonnard in the Snapshot exhibition, both in the permanent collection at The Phillips Collection. At left is Dogs, 1893. Lithograph on Paper, 15 x 11 in. At right is Woman with Dog, 1922. Oil on canvas, 27 1/4 x 15 3/8 in. Photo: Joshua Navarro

When I entered Snapshot, the pairing of Bonnard’s painting Woman with Dog (above right) with his lithograph Dogs (above left) delighted me. By my count, the exhibition features five works in which Bonnard includes canines, and I love how each picture captures dogs doing what dogs do—begging, cuddling, running, playing, etc.

Look more closely at Dogs. Did you notice how the fluffy dog in the mid-ground is sniffing the rear of the pup he’s next to? Behind them, Bonnard includes three pooches in play bows as they get acquainted before galloping off. Do you see the black smears throughout the composition? Funny how they resemble paw prints, as though the pups ran across the surface of the composition. Continue reading “Phillips Petting Zoo: Pierre Bonnard” »