ArtGrams: Whitfield Lovell


Instagrammer @bmpashle snapped a photo of this visitor with Whitfield Lovell’s Kin VI (Nobody), 2008 at left and Kin XLIX (The Well), 2011 at right.

Since the exhibition’s opening, we’ve seen tons of creative photos of Whitfield Lovell‘s Kin series and tableaux works. Highlighting a few of our favorites for this month’s ArtGrams! Share your photos in and around the museum for a chance to be featured on the blog.


Whitfield Lovell’s Rice Barton Series, 2004, as photographed by @risunshine143.


“Got to see some amazing pieces @PhillipsCollection today during my lunch break including this (Whitfield Lovell, Fortune, 2000). Photo: IG/chelloanne


“Sound traveling w/ 37 vintage radios. Making waves 🌊” Instagrammer (and Phillips Museum Assistant/emerging artist) @joelvincii pictured here with Whitfield Lovell’s After an Afternoon, 2008.


Of Lovell’s “At Home and Abroad” (2008), Instagrammer @benevelint notes: “Still relevant / sad reality”


Phillips Manager of Public Engagement and Instagrammer @kkdaley28 snapped this photo of Lovell’s Dawn to Dawn (2006) during opening week


Photo: IG/tkgphoto


Lovell’s Kin IX (To Make Your False Heart True), 2008. Photo: IG/artistjuliakwon


Accompanying this photo of Whitfield Lovell’s Cage (2001), Instagrammer @tohmase pairs the caption: “The first act of liberation is to destroy one’s own cage” – Michael S. Harper


Love this perspective from Instagrammer @baeyahh


ArtGrams is a monthly series in which we feature our favorite Instagrammed pictures taken around or inspired by the museum. Each month, we’ll feature a different theme based on trends we’ve seen in visitor photos. Hashtag your images with #PhillipsCollection or tag your location for a chance to be featured.

Finding Inspiration in a Deck of Cards


Selections from Whitfield Lovell’s Card series. Left to right: Untitled (Card XXXVII), 2005; Untitled (Card XXXVIII), 2005; Untitled (Card LI), 2006; Untitled (Card XXII), 2003; Untitled (Card XLIX), 2006


These five small-scale works on paper are part of Whitfield Lovell’s first Card series, in which he paired an intricately detailed hand drawn face with each of the deck’s 52 rectangular cards. As the artist has noted, the Card series was an important precursor to his Kin series:


Whitfield Lovell’s “Card Series II” on view at National Museum of African American History and Culture

“I had been making these little drawings on tan paper long enough that . . . it was natural to bump up the scale and proceed from there. I just wouldn’t have started the Kin series had I not been working on the Card series for so long. Drawing with that degree of detail is not something I would start doing suddenly overnight.”

After completing his first Card series, the artist embarked on a second Card series, this time with a deck of round playing cards. Concurrent with this exhibition, you may see Lovell’s round Card series as part of the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Whitfield Lovell: The Kin Series and Related Works is on view through Jan. 8, 2017.

Portrait of a Portait Artist: Lydia Field Emmet

Chase_Lydia Field Emmet

William Merritt Chase, Lydia Field Emmett, 1892. Oil on canvas, 72 x 36 1/8 in. Brooklyn Museum, New York, Gift of the artist

After years of study with him at the Art Students League, in 1891, Lydia Field Emmet accepted William Merritt Chase’s offer to lead the preparatory class at the Shinnecock Summer School of Art. By this time, she was also pursuing work as a society portraitist and a designer of stained glass for Tiffany and Company. Her self-assured expression fixed on Chase’s canvas captures an image of an artist who would become one of the foremost American women portrait painters of the late 19th century.

The portrait bears the strong imprint of the 17th century Dutch portraiture tradition, sharing with Anthony van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Frans Hals an allegiance to painterly brushwork, elegant contrasts of light and dark, dramatic pose, and expressive tone. Moreover, Lydia Field Emmet highlights Chase’s skillful hand in conveying texture, as seen in the precise rendering of the lace and the variegated tones of the pink satin ribbon—signs of the enduring legacy of the artist’s Munich training.

Elsa Smithgall, William Merritt Chase: A Modern Master exhibition curator