The Phillips Collection is home to an extraordinary collection of more than 3,000 works ranging from masterpieces of French impressionism and American modernism to contemporary art. By displaying superb works in an intimate setting, founder Duncan Phillips hoped to encourage visitors to appreciate new, challenging forms of artistic expression. Art from different eras and places is often juxtaposed and changes often to suggest visual "conversations."
The museum's collection includes works by American and European masters such as Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer, Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, and Vincent van Gogh. Phillips valued strong connections with artists, collecting multiple works by Honoré Daumier, Paul Klee, John Marin, Alfred Stieglitz, and Brett Weston, among others. The Phillips holds the world's largest, most significant collection of works by Arthur Dove and the largest American collection of works by Pierre Bonnard.
Duncan Phillips formed close bonds through letters and studio visits with a wide range of artists. As a patron and collector, he provided crucial aid and encouragement to many artists who are well represented in the collection. The Phillips continues to engage with and acquire works by contemporary artists, including Howard Hodgkin, Ellsworth Kelly, Susan Rothenberg, and Leo Villareal.
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