Congenial Spirits: Chagall and Bonnard (Off the Walls)

As the galleries are closed to the public today, curator Elsa Smithgall took the opportunity to bring out the Phillips’s monumental The Terrace (1918) by Pierre Bonnard alongside other paintings by the artist in our permanent collection. Bonnard’s work is presented in conversation with this dreamy painting by Marc Chagall. You can visit them beginning tomorrow, but for now here’s an off-the-wall preview.

Stay tuned for a series of spotlight talks about Chagall’s painting at noon every Thursday in January. The spotlights anticipate a theater program here at the Phillips on January 31, which will preview the world premiere of a play created by Double Edge Theatre that is inspired by Chagall’s work—The Grand Parade (of the Twentieth Century)—on stage at Arena February 6–10.

(clockwise from top) Marc Chagall's The Dream (1939) and Pierre Bonnard's The Terrace (1918) take their positions and wait to be hung. Bonnard's The Open Window (1921) and The Checkered Tablecloth (c. 1925) will soon hang side by side. Bonnard's Interior With Boy (1910) and Bowl of Cherries (1920) await placement.

(clockwise from top) Marc Chagall’s The Dream (1939) and Pierre Bonnard’s The Terrace (1918) take their positions and wait to be hung. Bonnard’s The Open Window (1921) and The Checkered Tablecloth (c. 1925) will soon hang side by side. Bonnard’s Interior With Boy (1910) and Bowl of Cherries (1920) await placement.

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