Edgar Degas and Ellen Andrée

Each week for the duration of the exhibition, we’ll focus on one work of art from Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party, on view October 7, 2017-January 7, 2018.

Edgar Degas, Portrait of Ellen Andrée, 1876

Edgar Degas, Portrait of Ellen Andrée (Portrait d’Ellen Andrée), 1876. Monotype in black and brown ink on ivory paper, 8 1/2 × 6 1/4 in. The Art Institute of Chicago

Ellen Andrée, born Hélène André around 1855, started acting in 1879. She was a favorite of Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, using her talents as an actress to play many roles as a model. A lively young woman, she joined the artists’ circle at the Café Nouvelle Athenes. In the early 1880s she gave up modeling entirely and in 1887 she joined a naturalist theater, the Teâtre-Libre. Her career took her to the United States, Argentina, and Russia. She married Henri Julien Dumont, a painter who specialized in flowers. Degas made several portraits of her and she modeled as the dissolute woman in his famous painting In a Café (L’Absinthe) (Musée d’Orsay, 1975-76), where she stares vacantly at the glass on the table in front of her.

New Year’s Resolution: Get Fit

Mili_Harmonica Virtuoso

Gjon Mili, Multiple Images of Harmonica Virtuoso Larry Adler Performing with Dancer Paul Draper, 1941. Gelatin silver print, overall: 14 in x 11 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Gift of Cam and Wanda Garner, 2013

Daumier_Strong Man

Honoré Daumier, The Strong Man, ca. 1865. Oil on wood panel, Framed: 18 3/8 in x 21 5/8 in x 2 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1928

Degas_dancers at the barre

Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, Dancers at the Barre, ca. 1900. Oil on canvas, framed: 46 in x 58 3/8 in x 3 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1944

Staff Show 2013: Lydia O’Connor

In this series, Young Artists Exhibitions Program Coordinator Emily Bray profiles participants in the 2013 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show. Join us tonight for a reception, 5 to 8 pm!

Lydia O’Connor holds a Master of Philosophy in Film Theory from Trinity College Dublin.  While she considers herself a great appreciator of art and the artistic process, this is her first foray into the creative side of the art world.

Lydia O'Connor Image

Lydia O’Connor, Transitory, 2013, Photograph

What do you do at The Phillips Collection?  Are there any unique/interesting parts about your job that most people might not know about?
Finance Assistant.   I get to enjoy a birds-eye view of the entire museum’s operations from conservation to curatorial to education to facilities and maintenance through the daily financial aspects that cross my desk.

Who is/are your favorite artist/artists in the collection?
The Phillips Collection enjoys a star-studded list of artists including Van Gogh, Degas, RenoirPicassoCezanneKlee, Rothko and so many more… . It’s quite difficult to choose a favorite when you’re in the presence of such awe-inspiring masterworks.  I absolutely adore Wassily Kandinsky.  The Phillips Collection has several Kandinsky paintings and I am always excited when these are on display.

What is your favorite gallery/space within The Phillips Collection?
The Music Room for me is a very special place.  While much of our gallery space is typical white walls, the original home carries a spirit I think is thrilling to the museum experience.  The Music Room has a drama and a life that’s unique.  I really feel like I am in the home of Duncan and Marjorie Phillips and the many beautiful concerts and events we hold here at the Phillips seem to reverberate from floor to ceiling.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2013 Staff Show (and/or your work in general)?
I took this photo one morning in early April.  I noticed as I walked up Q street from the Dupont Circle metro that the wonderful lavender petals from our tulip magnolia tree were shedding creating a blanket of color beneath the red brick of the original house; the play of the light sprinkling shadows across the building in the morning sunshine.  It was a moment of Phillips magic. A few hours later when I left the office for lunch, the tree was bare and many of the petals that had carpeted the ground had blown away.  I knew then I had been witness to a special and fleeting moment in the life of this tree.

The 2013 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show will be on view September 23, 2013 through October 20, 2013. The show features artwork from Phillips Collection staff.

 Emily Bray, Young Artists Exhibitions Program Coordinator