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Recent acquisitions take the spotlight alongside European masters at The Phillips Collection
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party, between 1880 and 1881. Oil on canvas, 51, 1/4 x 69 1/8 in. Acquired 1923. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON, DC.- Aiming to spark new conversations between contemporary works and holdings from its permanent collection, The Phillips Collection welcomes springtime visitors to explore recent acquisitions alongside some of the museum’s most beloved European masterworks.

The installation of these intimate galleries is organized into several themes, including sculpture, drawings, and portraiture. While many of the artworks are renowned favorites, such as Edgar Degas’s Dancers at the Barre; Joan Miró’s The Red Sun; and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, the installation unveils several rarely seen works, including Jean-Honore Fragonard’s drawing Odorico Kills Corebo and Sets Out in Pursuit of Isabella and Pablo Picasso’s bronze sculpture Head of a Woman. This installation allows rediscovery of treasures in the museum’s holdings.

“Our intention is to showcase the museum’s collection at its very best, through small installations of works seldom on display alongside popular masterworks,” says Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Vesela Sretenović. “This aesthetic logic was cherished by founder Duncan Phillips as a way to create visual experiences that come together in an exceptional display.”

At the same time, a gallery on the second floor of the House highlights some of the Phillips’s recent acquisitions, including works by living artists, such as Linda Ridgway (The Conversation, 1995), and Valeska Soares (Fainting Couch, 2001). Soares’ multisensory work invites visitors to repose on a stainless steel chaise as they take in the heady olfactory notes of real Stargazer lilies—60–80 blooms that must be replaced weekly—which are stored in drawers built underneath the metal seating. These works are accompanied by delicate drawings of nature by Helen Torr.

“The juxtaposition of provocative new additions with iconic European masterworks demonstrates the museum’s commitment to founder Duncan Phillips’s mission to create an ‘intimate museum combined with an experiment station’,” says director Dr. Dorothy Kosinski.

“Moreover, with our landmark Made in the U.S.A. exhibition on display in many of our galleries, we are keen to balance the collecting history of our founder with the aspirations of a modern collecting institution—one that eagerly supports both renowned and emerging contemporary artists and recognizes the importance of their work.”

The Phillips plans to display a selection of new acquisitions throughout the spring and summer, with a rotation of artworks in May. Visitors are encouraged to return to the museum throughout both seasons to view the selection of new works on display.

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