The Phillips Collection, America's first museum of modern art, was founded in 1921 by Duncan Phillips (1886-1966), a Washington DC collector who played a vital role in introducing America to contemporary art. Unusually for his time, Phillips saw American artists as fully equal to their European counterparts, often hanging their works side by side. Moreover, Phillips chose to buy and exhibit works according to stylistic continuities and affinities, reflecting the visual connections between various artistic expressions, past and present. Master Paintings from The Phillips Collection highlights 108 masterworks from the Phillips's permanent collection and offers insight into the creation of one of the greatest private collections of modern art in the world. Featuring works by both American and European artists, among them Degas, Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Klee, Homer, Whistler, Hopper, Stieglitz, O'Keeffe, Calder, and Rothko, it aims to re-create what Duncan Phillips considered the "life-enhancing" experience of seeing new or challenging art in an intimate setting.
Foreword by the Director Seeing Beautifully: A Vision of the Whole by Eliza Rathbone Duncan Phillips and The Phillips Collection: Champions of American Art by Susan Behrends Frank Art and Intimacy by Robert Hughes Main presentation of 108 "master paintings," each with a colour plate and an entry.