American Acrostics: Marjorie Phillips

Marjorie Phillips_Night Baseball

Marjorie Phillips, Night Baseball, 1951. Oil on canvas, 24 1/4 x 36 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Gift of the artist, 1951 or 1952

To celebrate the last month of Made in the USA, we’ve asked Phillips staff to create acrostic poems for works in the exhibition. We’ll feature some of our favorite submissions over the next few weeks.

Marjorie Phillips, Night Baseball

Unveiling a game changer
Senators Baseball club
All-American pastime


Lydia O’Connor, Senior Finance Assistant

International Women’s Day : Women Artists at the Phillips

Despite being a pioneer in his collecting of modern art, Duncan Phillips did not extend his exploration of the non-traditional to women artists. They make up a small percentage of the works he and his wife, Marjorie, collected as well as the works added since. 2008 Postdoctoral Fellow Jennifer T. Criss attempted to identify why women are so underrepresented in the collection, but the question is difficult to answer. She concluded that Phillips valued the power of an individual work above all else, favoring a painting’s ability to produce an emotional reaction in the viewer above other qualities or associations. So while Duncan’s partnership with Marjorie or his personal reliance on women in his business life (to be explored in blog posts later this month) did not result in the rich collection of women artists that one might hope, there are some very strong and wonderful works by women at the Phillips. Below is a selection of works that were acquired by Duncan Phillips. Updated: Read a post on Phillips’s powerful secretary, Elmira Bier.

Theresa Bernstein, Girlhood, 1921, Oil on canvas

Theresa Bernstein, Girlhood, 1921. Oil on canvas, 29 x 35 1/8 in. Acquired 1924. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Isabel Bishop, Lunch Counter, circa 1940, Oil, egg tempera and pencil on hardboard

Isabel Bishop, Lunch Counter, c. 1940. Oil, egg tempera and pencil on hardboard, 23 x 14 in. Acquired 1941. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Laura Douglas, Symphony No. 2, Charleston, 1934, Gouache and ink on paper

Laura Douglas, Symphony No. 2, Charleston, 1934. Gouache and ink on paper, 17 3/4 x 23 5/8 in. Acquired 1942. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Loren MacIver,  New York, 1952, Oil on canvas

Loren MacIver, New York, 1952. Oil on canvas, 45 1/4 x 74 in. Acquired 1953. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.