A Phillips Woman on Women Artists: Emily Bray

In honor of Women’s History Month and The National Museum of Women in the Arts #5WomenArtists challenge, we’re highlighting some of the spectacular women on our staff and the female artists who inspire them.

Emily Bray, Education Specialist for Public Programs

Emily Bray photo

Emily Bray, Education Specialist for Public Programs

Do you have a favorite woman artist from The Phillips Collection, or a favorite female artist whose work has been on display at the museum?
EB: Nikki S. Lee. She’s a Korean artist who uses photography to blur the lines between culture and identity. She transforms herself to “fit” into the subcultures in our society and documents her interactions. I first discovered Nikki while trying to work through some of my own photography about identity. The Phillips has a few images from her series The Lesbian Project, The Hispanic Project, and The Swingers Project.

Nikki S Lee

Nikki S. Lee, The Lesbian Project (11), 1997. Fujiflex print, 30 x 40 in. Gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, DC, 2010

Who is your all-time favorite female artist? Do you remember the first time you saw her work? How does she inspire you?
EB: I wish I had an all-time favorite female artists, however, I love so many! I admire Elina Brotherus’s work as she often turns the camera towards herself, a mix of model and self-portrait, of quiet, sentimental images of her life. I also love Elinor Carucci‘s photography because she uses a 35mm camera to document her daily routine, through good and rough parts, beautifully capturing each moment. Brotherus and Carucci use their personal life to convey that everything, every moment, really matters. I think it’s often a good reminder to me and to all women that we’re important, and each of our stories is valuable.

Name five women artists.
#5WomenArtists that influenced my photography work are:
Julie Cameron
Diana Arbus
Sophia Calle
Francesca Woodman
Barbara Bosworth

A Phillips Woman on Women Artists: Racquel Keller

13In honor of Women’s History Month and The National Museum of Women in the Arts #5WomenArtists challenge, we’re highlighting some of the spectacular women on our staff and the female artists who inspire them.

Racquel Keller, Museum Shop Supervisor, Art Instructor, and Working Artist

Racquel Keller

Racquel Keller

Do you have a favorite woman artist from The Phillips Collection, or a favorite female artist whose work has been on display at the museum?
RK: One of my favorite women artists from The Phillips Collection is Sally Mann. I love the element of southern gothic storytelling that her black and white landscape photographs evoke and am always glad to see Untitled (From “America Now & Here: Photography Portfolio 2009”) on our gallery walls.

Sally Mann_Untitled

Sally Mann, Untitled (from “America Now + Here: Photography Portfolio 2009”), ca. 1995. Digital c-print, 20 x 24 in. Gift of Carolyn Alper, 2010. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Who is your all-time favorite female artist? Do you remember the first time you saw her work? How does she inspire you?
RK: Wow…my all-time favorite female artist? There are so many amazing women artists that it is hard to choose. I will say that Käthe Kollwitz is the one whom without fail seems to reach out of the paper and grab me. Every single time I see one of her works I am freshly taken in by the raw, stark emotion laid bare for the world to see. When I look at her work I think she must have been someone who could not have survived life without creating. I can’t remember the exact first time that I saw her work, but I remember being awestruck by the power and self-assured nature of her hand. Until that time, the only examples of women artists that I had been exposed to were artists who painted softer subjects such as domestic scenes. Kollwitz’s sure hand inspires me to approach every work with clarity and confidence.

Name five women artists:
RK: Louise Bourgeois
Sarah Bernhardt
Maria Sibylla Merian
Francesca Woodman
Kara Walker

A Phillips Woman on Women Artists: Liza Strelka

In honor of Women’s History Month and The National Museum of Women in the Arts #5WomenArtists challenge, we’re highlighting some of the spectacular women on our staff and the female artists who inspire them.

Liza Strelka, Manager of Exhibitions

Liza Strelka photo

Manager of Exhibitions Liza Strelka

Do you have a favorite woman artist from The Phillips Collection, or a favorite female artist whose work has been on display at the museum?
LS: I have to list two: Alma Thomas and Linn Meyers.

2010 Intersections installation, at the time being by Linn Meyers

Linn Meyers’s 2010 Intersections installation at the Phillips, “at the time being.” Photos: Sarah Osborne Bender

Who is your all-time favorite female artist? Do you remember the first time you saw her work? How does she inspire you?
LS: It’s impossible for me to name just one favorite, but I adore the wooden assemblage sculptures of Louise Nevelson. I was introduced to her work in college, and I’ve visited the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s sculpture by her countless times since. I could stare at her wood assemblages for hours. The interplay of darkness and light, movement and stillness, and chaos and order in her work speaks to her tremendous talent. Every time you look at a work by Nevelson, something new reveals itself to you.

Name five women artists: 
Francesca Woodman
Nancy Spero
Faith Ringgold
Ana Mendieta
Jennifer Bartlett