In this series, Manager of Visitor and Family Engagement Emily Bray profiles volunteers within the museum. Phillips volunteers are an integral part of the museum and help in many ways: greeting and guiding guests through the museum, helping with Sunday Concerts, assisting patrons in the library, helping out with Phillips after 5 and special events, and so much more. Our volunteers offer a wealth of expertise and experience to the museum, and we are delighted to highlight several them.
Natalie Hall, Art Information Volunteer
What year did you start volunteering at The Phillips Collection?
I began volunteering in 2008 after I retired from my position as an administrator at an independent school in Alexandria. We were members of the Phillips so volunteering was an easy extension of that interest.
What do you see as the most valuable aspect of your volunteering?
I love to interact with guests who have a range of questions from the mundane but important “Where’s the restroom?” to discussion of Duncan Phillips’s life and ideas as a collector. The exhibit Moving Forward, Looking Back in the first gallery has really sparked curiosity about the Phillips family and the collection.
What do you do when you are not volunteering at The Phillips Collection?
We travel a lot to visit family in the US and Jordan and visit colleagues in Indonesia and Thailand. I am also very involved with Arlington politics and lobby for the National Peace Corps Association.
What is your favorite room or painting here?
Like Duncan Phillips, I love the color of the Pierre Bonnard paintings and Vincent van Gogh’s “The Garden at Arles.” Georgia O’Keeffe is another favorite.
If you had to choose one word to describe the Phillips, what would it be?
Share a fun fact about you!
I study Indonesian at the Embassy close to the Phillips. We taught in Java and Bali. The wealth of art in all forms was fascinating, especially in Bali.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Emily Bray has been so supportive of volunteers. The flexibility of self-scheduling is most welcome. People should consider volunteering.