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  • January 28, 2014

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John Marin, Pertaining to Fifth Avenue and Forty-Second Street, 1933. Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1937 © 2013 Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Allen Tucker, The Rise, not dated. Oil on canvas, 30 1/2 x 36 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1927

After winning acclaim and record attendance on a four-year international and domestic tour, The Phillips Collection’s American art treasures will make a grand homecoming on Saturday in a landmark exhibition titled "Made in the USA." 

The most comprehensive presentation of the museum’s American art collection undertaken in nearly 40 years, Made in the USA showcases more than 200 masterpieces—from romantic seascapes and jazzy city scenes to abstract canvases and
boldly colored portraits—by more than 125 artists whose new visual language made American art an international sensation.

Founder Duncan Phillips was a lifelong champion of the nation’s cultural diversity. His commitment to collecting works by America’s living artists who showed great promise—whether they were native or foreign-born, artists of color, self-taught or academically trained, male or female—was decidedly against the grain between the wars and propelled The Phillips Collection to be a leader in American art.

“It was this ‘fusion of various sensitivities’ and ‘unification of differences,’ as Phillips described it, that was something to celebrate,” said Susan Behrends Frank, Associate Curator at The Phillips Collection. “The Phillips’s American collection is more than just an assemblage of great names; its strength lies in its rich diversity and multiplicity of American voices that Duncan Phillips brought together over a lifetime.”

Rockwell Kent, The Road Roller, 1909. Oil on canvas, 34 1/8 x 44 1/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Acquired 1918.

Organized chronologically as a thematic narrative about American art from the late 19th century through the postwar years, the exhibition aims to demonstrate how artists with fresh vision and independent spirit captured modern American life.

“Not since 1976 has The Phillips Collection presented such a mesmerizing showcase of Duncan Phillips’s treasures. Made in the USA presents a rare opportunity to view our permanent collection displayed in what could best be described as a story with many chapters. The 12 themes, from ‘Realism and Romanticism’ to ‘The City’ to ‘Memory and Identity,’ serve as a walk through time, and echo a compelling narrative about our country’s history and cultural development,” said Dorothy Kosinski, director of The Phillips Collection.

The exhibition explores a diverse array of subjects and periods through painting, drawing, and etching. Highlights include Rockwell Kent’s The Road Roller; Horace Pippin’s Domino Players; Allen Tucker’s The Rise; Edward Hopper’s Sunday; Stefan Hirsch’s New York, Lower Manhattan; John Marin’s Pertaining to Fifth Avenue and Forty-Second Street; Arthur Dove’s
Red Sun, and Willem De Kooning’s Asheville.

Tags: American art

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