In Memory of Gifford Phillips, 1918-2013

Richard Diebenkorn, Berkeley No. 1, 1953, Oil on canvas

Richard Diebenkorn, Berkeley No. 1, 1953. Oil on canvas, 60 1/4 x 52 3/4 in. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gifford Phillips, 1977. The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

“. . . That was a painting from our own collection. . . . I had shown slides of some of our paintings to Duncan, and when he saw this particular picture, he said, ‘I’d buy that painting immediately,’ so I remembered that.”

-Gifford Phillips in an oral history interview (March 4, 2004) speaking of the first Diebenkorn painting he and his wife Joann gave to The Phillips Collection.

Gifford Phillips was Duncan Phillips’s nephew, son of Duncan’s beloved brother James. Gifford was a passionate champion of the arts, discerning collector of both contemporary painting and historic Native American work, and dedicated political activist. He died on Wednesday of natural causes at the age of 94. Read about his contributions to art, politics, and publishing in today’s Los Angeles Times.

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