Cover image for The eye of Duncan Phillips : a collection in the making
The eye of Duncan Phillips : a collection in the making
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966.
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : Phillips Collection in association with Yale University New Haven, [1999]

Physical Description:
xix, 820 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm
Art and intimacy / Robert Hughes -- The evolution of a critic : changing views in the writings of Duncan Phillips / David W. Scott -- A collection in the making / George Heard Hamilton -- Sources of modernism / David Rosand -- France in the late nineteenth century / Charles Stuckey -- The American vision: The American tradition and American impressionism / Elizabeth Tebow ; Duncan Phillips and the American popular tradition / Jane Kallir -- Modernism in France: Bonnard, Matisse, and the School of Paris / Elizabeth Hutton Turner ; Braque, Picasso, and other Cubists / Kenneth E. Silver -- The Dreier gift and other European modernists / Erika D. Passantino -- The spirit of revolt and the beginning of American modernism / David W. Scott -- Duncan Phillips and American modernism : the continuing legacy of the Experiment Station / William C. Agee -- The American scene : realism and social concern / Richard L. Rubenfeld -- Painting in Europe after the Second World War / Sarah Wilson -- American art after the Second World War / Eliza E. Rathbone -- The Phillips Collection and art in Washington: Washington and Baltimore artists from the 1930s through the 1950s / Ben L. Summerford ; Washington art in the 1960s and beyond / Willem De Looper with Jeffrey Harrison.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N858.P4 A87 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



This highly illustrated book is both a survey of the major European and American works in the Phillips Collection and a guide to the museum's holdings and significance. A study of the history of taste in 20th century America, it documents the evolution of modernism as well as the pivotal role played by Duncan Phillips as a critic and collector.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

More than simply a catalog to the holdings of the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, this massive book offers a virtual tour of Modernism as observed by the museum's founder, Duncan Phillips (1886-1966). Introductory essays give an overview of the man behind the insitution. Phillips was an astute and opinionated critic as well as collector, and the analysis of his changing opinions on the art of his day are of considerably more significance than the sort of hagiographic stuff one usually finds in collectors' catalogs. At the end of the book are several appendixes offering a wealth of data for researchers on Phillips's writings and shows at the collection as well as copious notes. But the vast center of the book--nearly 600 pages--is filled with an inventively organized catalog of the collection, or at least several hundred important pieces from it. Eleven chapters open with topical essays (from "Sources of Modernism" to "Washington and Baltimore Artists"), which are followed by subchapters offering biographical history, pictorial analysis, and plates of works by artists relevant to the period and place in question. The writing throughout is scholarly but completely lucid. A model work, this is highly recommended for all but small public libraries.--Eric Bryant, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Phillips (1886-1966) was an inspired US collector who established the Phillips collection in his home in Washington, DC, as an intimate refuge for communion with the several thousand art objects he owned. This book is a superb and monumental tribute to his vision and his accomplishments, which turned that collection into one of the finest museums in the US. Some 400 works are discussed and reproduced in either very good color or black and white. Much more than just an excellent catalog, it was consciously conceived as such, according to editor Passantino. Designed to coincide with a special exhibition of the permanent collection of 1999, it was in the making since 1986. Background essays on Phillips precede the entries: "Art and Intimacy," by Robert Hughes, and two on the evolution of a critic: "Changing Views in the Writings of Duncan Phillips," by David W. Scott, and "A Collection in the Making," by George Heard Hamilton. Entries by nearly 30 scholars are arranged in both historical and topical sections. The delineation of the chapters reveals this book's richness, variety, and importance. Appendix with exhibitions from 1919 to 1999; published and unpublished writing of Duncan Phillips; 125 pages of notes and references; excellent index. An incredible bargain! Recommended. General readers; undergraduates through faculty. J. Weidman; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art