In honor of tonight’s opening reception for the 2011 staff show, coordinator Jenna Kowalke-Jones has written a remembrance of the show’s namesake, James McLaughlin. Watch for part two tomorrow.
The Phillips Collection’s annual James McLaughlin Memorial Staff show opens this week, marking its 29th year. The first staff show opened in 1982 with an exhibition of paintings by James (Jim) McLaughlin (1909-1982) titled A Retrospective Exhibition: In Memoriam. McLaughlin’s family, in his honor, endowed the staff show in 1984. Artist, gallery preparator, and curator, McLaughlin’s contributions to the Phillips spanned five decades, and his legacy continues with the staff show.
McLaughlin, who hired local artists and art students as museum guards at the Phillips, was well known for his support of artists in the Washington, D.C., area. Susan Davis wrote in the Washington Post (January 1982): “As curator of the Phillips Collection, Jim McLaughlin received artists with unusual openness in order to see their portfolios. If you called, he said yes, he would see you. And when you arrived at his office, there was time for you . . . Another curator might choose to remove himself from the access of the hundreds of artists. Jim McLaughlin remained dutiful and sincere.” Continue reading “James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show” »