The Phillips Collection is home to an extraordinary collection of more than 5,000 works ranging from 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.
Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition presents works by African American artists of the 20th and 21st centuries together with examples by the early 20th century European artists with whom they engaged.
This exhibition explores the connections and frictions around modernism in the work of artists such as Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Renee Cox, Wassily Kandinsky, Norman Lewis, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Faith Ringgold, Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems, among others.