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The Phillips Collection And The George Washington University Join Forces To Boost Arts Education And Creative Innovation

Three-year Collaboration Will Offer Modern Art Courses, Internships And Academic Fellowships For Students And The Public

November 05, 2010


Washington, D.C.— The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art, and The George Washington University are jointly organizing art history courses, artist visits, post-doctoral fellowships, and an internship program, all at the Phillips’s Center for the Study of Modern Art and GW’s Foggy Bottom campus. These pooled resources, creativity and expertise will enhance the capacity of the museum and university to offer a range of innovative, interdisciplinary learning opportunities for GW students and the public.

“In joining forces with The George Washington University, the Phillips gains as its valued partner D.C.’s largest institution of higher learning,” says Phillips Director Dorothy Kosinski. “The Phillips is thrilled to count such a well-respected and globally connected Washington institution among its creative collaborators.” Adds Klaus Ottmann, director of the Center for the Study of Modern Art and Phillips curator at large, “This exciting partnership further deepens the Center’s commitment to explore creative ideas in a variety of disciplines.”

The three-year partnership begins with a course titled, “The Performative Impulse in American Art,” taught by GW professor Virginia B. Spivey. Additionally, the first co-sponsored installment of the Phillips’s “Conversations with Artists” series features artists John Simon, Jr., Jim Sanborn, Mark Dion, Walid Raad, Matthew Ritchie, and Alice Aycock as they explore the theme, “Systems of Knowledge.” The artists will also visit the GW campus, where they will interact with students and faculty. In early 2011, the Phillips and GW will award two post-doctoral fellowships to support emerging scholars and facilitate teaching and research on modern and contemporary art.

"This new partnership with one of Washington's preeminent arts institutions creates exceptional teaching, internship, and research opportunities for George Washington students and faculty," said GW President Steven Knapp.

According to Peg Barratt, dean of GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), the partnership will bring new learning opportunities within CCAS and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD). “It’s a level of collaboration that will add a whole new dimension of scholarship to our liberal arts programs, further enriching the learning environment of our students,” said Dean Barratt. Michael Feuer, GSEHD dean, echoed Barratt’s enthusiasm, and added that “this effort reflects our commitment to reinforcing the finest traditions of American education as a conduit of culture and knowledge.


The Phillips Collection is one of the world’s most distinguished collections of impressionist and modern American and European art. Stressing the continuity between art of the past and present, it offers a strikingly original and experimental approach to modern art by combining works of different nationalities and periods in displays that change frequently. The setting is similarly unconventional, featuring small rooms, a domestic scale, and a personal atmosphere. Artists represented in the collection include Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Claude Monet, Honoré Daumier, Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, Mark Rothko, Milton Avery, Jacob Lawrence, and Richard Diebenkorn, among others. The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art, has an active collecting program and regularly organizes acclaimed special exhibitions, many of which travel internationally. The Intersections series features projects by contemporary artists, responding to art and spaces in the museum. The Phillips also produces award-winning education programs for K–12 teachers and students, as well as for adults. Since 1941, the museum has hosted Sunday Concerts in its wood-paneled Music Room. The Phillips Collection is a private, non-government museum, supported primarily by donations.


In the heart of the nation's capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 130 countries.


The Phillips Collection Center for the Study of Modern Art was founded in 2006 to serve as an interdisciplinary forum for innovative and scholarly discussion, research, and publication on modern and contemporary art. Scholars, including curators, faculty and students from a variety of universities, as well as a number of visiting artists, animate the study and discussion of modern and contemporary art. The Center's offices, seminar room, and open lecture space are in the Phillips family's former carriage house, behind the main building of The Phillips Collection. The Center hosts a wealth of wide-ranging public programs including “Conversations with Artists,” the Duncan Phillips Lectures, and interdisciplinary symposia with distinguished speakers from around the country and the world. The Center also sponsors an annual Book Prize to support emerging scholars.

The Phillips Collection, Online Press Room: 



The Phillips Collection, Cecilia Wagner - 202-387-2151 x235 - [email protected]
The George Washington University, Courtney Bowe - 202-994-5631 - [email protected]



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