Having Sunday Concert Withdrawal?

Pagainini and Rachel Barton Pine

(Left) Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, Paganini, 1831. Oil on cardboard on wood panel, 17 5/8 x 11 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1922. (Right) Rachel Barton Pine in the Phillips’s Music Room. Photo: Lou Brutus

While our Sunday Concert season is on hiatus, check out our new audio tour stop on Eugène Delacroix’s painting, Paganini. Music Specialist Jeremy Ney describes Paganini’s role in music history and provides an excerpt from Rachel Barton Pine’s January performance of his music. And if this whets your appetite, have a listen to our music podcast from our last season.

First Views of the Eiffel Tower

Chief Curator Eliza Rathbone describes Henri Rivière’s photographs and prints of the then-brand-new Eiffel Tower on the Snapshot exhibition audio tour. Rivière will be the subject of gallery talks at the museum at 6 and 7 pm tonight as part of Phillips after 5.


(left) Henri Rivière, Plate 36, The Painter in the Tower, from Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower, 1888–1902. Lithograph, 8 1/4 x 6 5/8 in. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo: Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY. (right) Henri Rivière, The Eiffel Tower: Painter on a knotted rope along a vertical girder, below an intersection of girders, 1889. Gelatin silver print, 4 3/4 x 3 1/2 in. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Gift of Mme Bernard Granet and her children and Mlle Solange Granet, 1981. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Just as the Eiffel Tower was being completed Henri Riviere and several friends were invited by Gutave Eiffel to climb inside it to the top and to experience its thrilling modernity and dizzying heights. That he recorded this experience in photographs was utterly unknown for many years. Continue reading

Watching from the Wings

Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon describes what the dancers in the wings are up to in Degas’s Dancers in Green and Yellow on the exhibition audio tour.

Edgar Degas, Dancers in Green and Yellow, c. 1903. Pastel and charcoal on several pieces of tracing paper, mounted on board. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, Gift of Justin K. Thannhauser, 1978

Well, this is a very familiar, very, very familiar pose to me and has been captured and I was thinking about this the other day. There’s a Royal Ballet poster, from when I was in the company, which means it must have been in the early ’90s, of a very similar composition of ballerinas in the wing, in costumes for I think La Bayadère, watching what’s going on onstage. And often what happens is, I think my story here would be that, one of their fellow corps de ballet members has been given the opportunity to dance their first solo variation on stage and there would be great, there’s always great excitement and a great deal of support amongst the young dancers for their colleagues. So perhaps, you know, perhaps that’s what’s going on here, that they’ve all rushed from their warming up positions on the side of the stage, to take a quick peak to see how she does, some probably with support in mind, and others hoping that she’s going to roll her ankle and mess it all up so that they get the chance themselves.

Christopher Wheeldon, choreographer