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Posted at 3:09 PM ET, 04/10/2006

From the Made-Up Words Department . . .

By Julia Beizer

As he described the new Sant Building of the Phillips Collection today, museum director Jay Gates called the architecture "Phillipsian." That's not in any dictionary I've ever read, but I think I know what he means. The museum's new wing, opening officially on Saturday, is modern with many amenities, but it stays true to the intimate gallery spaces of the original Phillips house museum.

The new building features a 180-seat auditorium, outdoor courtyard and library. One of the renovation's highlights is the reinstallation of the Rothko Room, a 325-square-foot space, specially designed by artist Mark Rothko and museum founder Duncan Phillips to display four brightly colored Rothko paintings. Even though the original room is in the main building, the museum has precisely recreated the dimensions of the space and the low light levels.

The new building isn't the only thing the Phillips will show off this weekend. On Saturday, "The Renoir Returns," an exhibition featuring works by Renoir, Degas and Kandinsky, goes on display in the house museum. Renoir's well-known "Luncheon of the Boating Party" is the centerpiece of this collection of masterworks, which also includes a fantastic Picasso entitled "Bullfight."

To celebrate, the Phillips Collection will be free to the public all weekend. Since it usually costs around $12 to get into the special exhibitions here, this weekend is a steal.


By Julia Beizer  | April 10, 2006; 3:09 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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Having a single masterpiece, as the Phillips has in its grand Renoir, creates problems for display which Blake Gopnik's recent article points out and I elaborate on in my blog, Steve Roach & The Art of Law at:

Posted by: Steve Roach | April 18, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

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