Phillips Collection [STST] -- This charming museum is even more alluring now that its expansion is complete. Its elegant 1890s Georgian Revival mansion anchors the Phillips, as it has since the gallery opened in 1921 (America's first museum of modern art). Founders Duncan and Marjorie Phillips, avid collectors and proselytizers of modernism, once lived here; now Impressionist, modernist, and American master gems from the 2,500-work permanent collection reside here. Intimate galleries retain homey features: leaded- and stained-glass windows, oak paneling, plush chairs and sofas, and individually designed fireplaces. The new wing houses the main entrance, as well as galleries devoted to special exhibits; a cafe run by a local favorite, Firehook Bakery; a sculpture garden in the courtyard; and, most wonderfully, the Rothko Room, the small room devoted to four large, color-intense paintings by abstract expressionist Mark Rothko.
Best known for its Renoir masterpiece, Luncheon of the Boating Party, the Phillips boasts works by Daumier, Bonnard, Vuillard, van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso, Degas, Klee, and Matisse. Ingres, Delacroix, Manet, El Greco, Goya, Corot, Constable, Courbet, Giorgione, and Chardin are among the premodernists represented. American notables, besides Rothko, include Dove, Hopper, Marin, Eakins, Homer, Lawrence, and O'Keeffe. You'll enjoy viewing the collection for an hour or so.
A full schedule of events includes temporary shows with loans from other museums and private collections, gallery talks, and concerts in the ornate music room. Concerts take place October to May on Sunday at 4pm; arrive early. On Thursday, the museum stays open until 8:30pm for Artful Evenings, usually a lecture or film screening.
Note: You may tour the permanent collection for free on weekdays. Weekends, admission is $10 per adult, $8 for seniors and students 18 and older. Special-exhibit admission prices vary, but are in effect weekdays; on weekends the regular admission price covers entry to both the permanent and special collections. The Phillips almost always has a special exhibition on view. You may order tickets in advance at the Phillips, or through Ticketmaster, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at tel. 800/551-SEAT (7328).
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about Phillips CollectionLocals have answered 28 questions about Washington DC.
Ask Washington DC Locals about Phillips Collection
- Highly Recommended 2009