Seeing Differently: Louis Faurer and Francisco José de Goya

The Phillips Collection engages with local voices by asking community members to write labels in response to works in the collection. Read some here on the blog and also in the galleries of Seeing Differently: The Phillips Collects for a New Century. What would you write about these artworks?

Louis Faurer, Times Square, N.Y. (Home of the Brave), 1950/printed 1981, Gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 in., The Phillips Collection, Gift of Steve LaMantia, 2013

When I first looked at this photograph, the large scale and foreground placement of the words “Home of the Brave” reminded me of our National Anthem. As a music teacher, I have guided hundreds of students through the performance of this song. Noticing the people in the photograph focused solely on those words brought memories of my students singing the last line with strength and pride. Francis Scott Key was documenting a moment in history with his poem. He knew the power of language—how these four words would represent the sacrifice of many in the 1814 Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, which Key watched while on a nearby ship. It made me wonder what those words meant to the artist who focused on them so prominently. What do they mean to me today? What do those words mean to you?

—Julianne Martinelli, Music Teacher & Arts Program Coordinator, Grades K-5, Edward M. Felegy Elementary School

Francisco José de Goya, The Repentant St. Peter, c. 1820-c. 1824, Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 25 1/4 in., Acquired 1936

Whenever I think of Peter—repentant or otherwise—I feel grateful that such a complex and flawed human being should be named the “rock” on which Jesus anchored his radical new way of moving through the world. It’s easy to assume that Peter, as depicted here, is repenting the cowardice of denying Christ three times in the hours before his execution. But I see an entire history of friendship and forgiveness captured in this portrait. This, after all, is the man who saw Jesus walk on water, then attempted to do the same, only to fail through lack of faith. This is the man who asked Jesus if he should forgive someone seven times, and learned that he should forgive “seventy times seven.” Thus the repentant St. Peter, while in deep sorrow, already knows that he is forgiven.

—Rev. Norman Allen 


From Otis Street: A Basket of Tchotchkes

Artist Gloria Chapa of the Otis Street Arts Project reflects on the hands-on workshop she led: A Basket of Tchotchkes: Art Treasure Trove of Inspiration.

The best part of teaching art is getting the surprise presents (art pieces) at the end of a class. The creativity of any group of participants rarely disappoints me. I had enjoyed my “time alone” during this quarantine. However, after a full year of isolation, teaching the final Otis Street Arts Project (OSAP) Phillips Workshop was a good opportunity to ease back into the mix.

There is more to art work than just the making of the piece. The process is so imbued with all of the spirit of the person creating it. There is no avoiding it. The way the workshop participants worked their materials was varied. It was obvious that they all had a vision; unique, strong and particular to each of them. I could sense a timidness amongst some of them. I knew it because  during my isolation period, there were times I also questioned my own intentions. Sharing our creative thoughts during the workshop helped dissolve any doubts that had crept into my art lexicon. It helped recover some of the energy lost to the quarantine. Perhaps the best thing about the pandemic is that there will be pervasive sincere appreciation for all that we do have. My favorite Robert Louis Stevenson quotes sums it up very well:

“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

Artwork by Gloria Chapa: (left) CASCARAS, Onion peels, recycled aluminum, tree branches; (right) POTATO CHIP BLANKIE, Foam mattress, potato chips, fiberglass resin

Seeing Differently: World Famous Chefs respond to Luncheon of the Boating Party

The Phillips Collection engages with local voices by asking community members to write labels in response to works in the collection. Read some here on the blog and also in the galleries of Seeing Differently: The Phillips Collects for a New Century. What would you write about these artworks?

Longer tables and shorter walls is the only way forward. Tables where are all welcome. And together we can all dream of a horizon of hope where we support others and they one day may support us.
― José Andrés, Chef/Owner of ThinkFoodGroup and Founder of World Central Kitchen


As I look at this painting I’ll admit that I am drawn to the terrier on the table as I know full well that my own terrier, Charlie, would be in the same spot! His surroundings certainly reinforce how much we all long for the days ahead when we can gather around the table again, sharing stories and meals with loved ones and new friends. There can never be too many opportunities to share our human experiences, especially when it’s over a meal.
―Aaron Silverman, Michelin Star Chef/Owner of Rose’s Luxury, Pineapple & Pearls and Little Pearl

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1880-81 Oil on Canvas, 51 ¼ x 69 ¼ in., The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1923

When I was a child, my grandfather lived close by to the Renoir museum that was previously the artist’s house. I went there many times and discovered the Renoir universe. His paintings bring back for me many happy memories from my childhood. The scene in this painting is about conviviality around a meal. Despite what looks like a simple meal with a casual ambiance, there is a certain sophistication to the scene because of how the women are dressed and the elegant stances of the men. This painting is a good reminder of how food brings people together, not only nourishing the body, but also the soul. This snapshot of a weekend moment is unique because of the talent of Renoir, and it is recognizable in his signature style portraying both a romantic flare and simple joy.
―Eric Ripert, Michelin Star Chef and Co-Owner of Le Bernardin, New York


I wish I could go into a time machine and go back to that time and attend as a guest or better yet to cook for the luncheon in an 1880s kitchen. It evokes such emotions of happiness, joie de vivre, which I think we could all use right now.
―Jean-Georges Vongerichten, International Award Winning Chef and Founder of Food Dreams