Moving Forward, Looking Back

A Collection Still in the Making: Selections from The Phillips Collection Archives

June 26 - December 31, 2017

The Phillips Collection was established in 1921 by Duncan Phillips (1886–1966), heir to a steel fortune, in his family’s 1897 house in historic Dupont Circle. Phillips never sought to establish a comprehensive survey of styles or movements, nor to exhibit the collection as a whole. From the outset, the museum has been dedicated to the idea of modernism as a dialogue between the past and the present, without restrictions on geography, nationality, or time period, embracing its founder’s vision to be “an intimate museum combined with an experiment station.” 

Moving Forward, Looking Back presents a selection of photographs, exhibition announcements, Christmas cards, letters, journals, and more from the museum's archives that reveal the how The Phillips Collection has been an “experiment station” for nearly 100 years.