The Eye of Duncan Phillips: A Collection in the Making

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9780300080902: The Eye of Duncan Phillips: A Collection in the Making
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This book is both a survey of the major European and American works in The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and a guide to the museum's holdings and significance. A study of the history of taste in twentieth-century America, it documents the evolution of modernism as well as the pivotal role played by Duncan Phillips (1886-1966) as a critic and collector.

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From Library Journal:

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"
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

A comprehensive catalog and history of Washington's Phillips Collection as well as an intellectual biography of its founder. . . . Prodigiously researched and illustrated, this book is an invaluable resource for scholars and anyone who delights in the Phillips Collection. Unquestionably the art book of the year. -- Eric Gibson, Wall Street Journal

A monumental book. This stately but never pompous volume includes entries on 191 of the artists in the collection and 411 works. It is a pleasure to read, and an education to look at. One of the major lacunas in American-art literature has at last been filled -- John Russell, New York Times Book Review

One of the great art books of the past decade. . . . This beautiful catalogue elegantly tells the story of how Phillips developed as an art critic. -- Stephen Goode, Washington Times

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