ArtsATL

Your Guide To The Arts In Atlanta

The High Museum of Art will host the touring exhibition European Masterworks: The Phillips Collection from April 6 through July 14, 2019. The exhibition comprises 75 iconic paintings and sculptures from America’s first museum of modern art, The Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. Included in the show are masterpieces by Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Honoré Daumier, Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh.

Also featured are works by 20th-century artists including Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Nicolas de Staël, Alberto Giacometti, Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso. Many of the works in the exhibition have not traveled together in more than 20 years.

“The Phillips Collection is one of the most satisfying focused art collections I know. It is a veritable who’s who of late 19th- and early 20th-century modernism, but it is also intensely personal,” said Claudia Einecke, the High’s Frances B. Bunzl Family curator of European art. “The collection shows Duncan Phillips’ penchant for strong, expressive color and design — as in the works of van Gogh and Bonnard — as well as his affinity for artists whose independence of spirit he admired, such as Daumier and Klee. This exhibition delivers a one-two punch: the highest artistic excellence and evidence of a collector’s exceptional discernment and personal conviction.”

The grandson of a prominent Pittsburgh industrialist, Duncan Phillips (1886–1966) built this extraordinary collection over the course of his life to share it with an international audience. He believed that “the really good things of all ages and all periods could be brought together . . . with such delightful results that we recognize the special affinities of artists.”

Highlights from the show include the following:

  • Three paintings by Daumier, including the powerful oil on canvas The Uprising (L’Emeute, ca. 1848)
  • The Open Window (1929) and three other important paintings by Bonnard
  • Seven paintings by Braque, including the late lyrical landscape The Shower (1952)
  • Picasso’s The Woman with Green Hat (1939), along with three other paintings and two sculptures

Organized by The Phillips Collection and a team led by Joseph Holbach, director of special initiatives, and Renée Maurer, associate curator, the exhibition tour included stops at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (May 14–August 13, 2017), and the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo, Japan (October 17, 2018–February 3, 2019). Einecke is the presenting curator for the High.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Reclining Figure, 1934, oil on canvas. (The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., gift of the Carey Walker Foundation, 1994. © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)