Chair yoga session in The Phillips Collection's galleries. Photo: Katie Schuler
Kimberly Wilson, director and founder of Tranquil Space, recently taught two inspiring chair yoga sessions during Phillips after 5. Kicking off their shoes in the galleries, visitors of all ages and experience levels participated; they stretched their creativity and focused on the beauty of the art in the museum and around them and in their daily lives.
The classes were designed to complement the evening’s theme: Spirituality in Art. The program also featured a live video remix by artist Robin Bell and tea tastings by Silence Tea. 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Wassily Kandinsky‘s seminal treatise Concerning the Spiritual in Art, which served as the inspiration for the night’s events.
(left) Music Room with "Liberation" and "Ecstasy" by Tack and screen by Charles Prendergast in dining room beyond 1930-31. Photo: The Phillips Collection archive. (right) Music Room with Tack's "Liberation" and "Ecstasy" today. Photo: Sean Ware
In celebration of the Phillips’s 90th anniversary, Augustus Vincent Tack’s works have returned to the Music Room. I was recently able to hear a Spotlight Talk by Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Leinberger on the history between Tack and the Music Room.
Originally commissioned as frescoes to decorate this space, these works were to accompany a barrel vaulted ceiling, invoking the mystic atmosphere of an Old World church. While the ceiling was never built and the frescoes instead became panels, the paintings still recall that initial concept through their lunette frames and colors inspired by John LaFarge’s stained glass work. By providing an uplifting spirituality, this quiet and contemplative space offered a welcome escape from the difficult reality of the Great Depression.
The return of these works seems appropriately timed during the current economic trouble and will perhaps offer the same respite for visitors as they once did. I experienced this response myself when first encountering the installation, as the combination of the muted panels and the dim setting invoked a sense of greater things and produced a decidedly humbling perspective.
For those inspired to learn more, Dorothy Kosinski leads a Director’s Perspective on Tack’s work in the Music Room at 6:30 pm this evening.
-Sean Ware, Communications and Marketing Intern