Romance in the Rothko Room

Catherine and Brian engagement 2_Photo Mark Armstrong

Brian popped the question to Catherine in the Phillips’s Rothko Room…and she said “Yes!”

Congratulations to Brian and Catherine, who got engaged in the Phillips’s Rothko Room earlier this month! We asked the couple to share their story and why the Rothko Room holds special meaning for them:

“When I started thinking about proposing to Catherine, I knew that I wanted to incorporate art into the proposal. Catherine moved to DC to study art history and to have the opportunity to intern in the district’s numerous art collections and museums. While in graduate school and while we were dating, one of these internships was with The Phillips Collection. During this time, it became apparent how much the collection meant to her, specifically the Rothko Room. She had prints of the four pieces that hang in the Rothko Room on the walls of her apartment and, as a result, they were witness to a large portion of our relationship. With this in mind, I thought it would be special to share our big moment in front of the real paintings, in a collection that she loves.

The passion that Catherine puts into her everyday life is one of the many things that first attracted me to her. One of her avenues to express this passion is through her love for and pursuit of art history. With this in mind, the Rothko Room at the Phillips seemed like the perfect place to solidify the passion in our relationship and begin our life together.” —Brian Rasmussen

Catherine and Brian engagement 3_Photo Mark Armstrong

Brian invited family to celebrate the new engagement

“I was completely shocked when I walked into the Rothko Room and saw Brian standing in the corner. This room has always been my favorite spot in DC and I can’t think of a more perfect place to share such a special moment. After a lot of tears and pictures, the surprises continued down in the café where our families and friends from out of town were waiting with champagne and donuts (my favorite!). Brian truly planned the perfect proposal and I can’t wait to visit the Rothko Room for the years to come with my soon to be husband!” —Catherine West

Do you have a Phillips love story? Send it to us at communications@phillipscollection.org.

Catherine and Brian engagement 1_Photo Mark Armstrong

Congratulations to these lovebirds!

Staff Show 2015: Jeff Whitelow

In this series, Assistant to the Education Department Emily Bray highlights participants in the 2015 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through October 4, 2015.

Cousins, August 2015, photograph

Cousins, August 2015, photograph

What do you do at The Phillips Collection?  Are there any unique/interesting parts about your job that most people might not know about?
I’m a Museum Assistant and also work in the AV department. I enjoy the inside track as far as hearing a lot of the artist talks and guest speakers. We meet artists, tourists, and other museum staff from around the world on a regular basis.

Who is your favorite artist in the collection?
Leo Villareal

What is your favorite gallery/space within The Phillips Collection?
The Rothko Room

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2015 Staff Show (and/or your work in general)?
This is a photo of a photo taken by the Scurlock Studio. The photo is a group shoot that’s displayed in the window of Lee’s Flower Shop at 1026 U Street, NW. I find Whitfield Lovell an influence on this work. This is a picture of my cousin Caroline at a formal. She died of cancer over a decade ago. Her son died of COPD last year. He died in the family home which probably will be up for sale soon. They had the home for about 3 generations. In the face of increasing gentrification, it’s good to preserve the past when you can.

Anything else you would like to share?
The relationship between music and visual art has always been of interest. I might hear some music which makes me wonder what kind of visual image would go with it. This can also work in reverse.

The 2015 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show is on view September 2 through October 4, 2015. The show features artwork from The Phillips Collection staff.

ArtGrams: The Rothko Room

Welcome to the first of our newest monthly blog series, ArtGrams, where we feature our favorite Instagrammed pictures taken around or inspired by the museum. We love seeing you create your own works of art using unique perspectives, strategic crops, and the funkiest filters.

Each month, we’ll feature a different theme based on trends we’ve seen in visitor photos; first up, The Rothko Room. The room’s bold colors and shapes have inspired these great shots. Be sure to hashtag your images with #PhillipsCollection or tag your location for a chance to be featured.

Rothko Room_1_allwegrow

Via Instagrammer @allwegrow: “We spent our 3 year anniversary visiting the Rothko Room”

Rothko Room_2_jamellita

via Instagrammer @jamellita: “American Living: ‘Luna and me in Rothko’s room'”

Rothko Room_3_mrscis

Via Instagrammer @mrscis: “Admiring the beauties of the centuries”

Rothko Room_4_pennykim

Via Instagrammer @pennykim

Rothko Room_5_pootie_ting

Via Instagrammer @pootie_ting: “Feeling Red. Rothko Red.”