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Frist Center for the Visual Arts announces To See as Artists See. American Art from the Phillips Collection

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts presents To See as Artists See: American Art from the Phillips Collection an exhibition on view February 3–May 6, 2012.

Maurice Prendergast. Ponte della Paglia (detail), 1898–99, reworked 1922. Oil on canvas, 27 7/8 x 23 1/8 in. Acquired 1922. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

The first international exhibition organized by the Phillips Collection to feature an overview of the museum’s renowned American collection, To See as Artists See incorporates nearly 100 works by 68 artists, including outstanding paintings by George Inness, Winslow Homer, Edward Hicks, Edward Hopper, Maurice Prendergast, John Sloan, Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin, Stuart Davis, Milton Avery, Jacob Lawrence, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Motherwell, and many others.

Since opening in 1921, the Phillips has been an active champion of American art, singling out artists who followed their own vision independent of fashionable styles and schools. Its collection of American masterworks celebrates the best of American art from the late 19th through the 20th century.

The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art, was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1921, a decade before the Museum of Modern Art (est. 1929) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (est. 1930) opened in New York. From its inception, The Phillips Collection has championed the very best American art and artists. Its in-depth holdings of American paintings are broad in scope, yet cannot be characterized as either encyclopedic or strictly historical. Rather, it is a rich assembly of independent-minded American artists, most of whom were actively exhibiting when their work entered the museum’s collection. In fact, many of the more than seventy artists included in this exhibition became acquaintances and good friends with the museum’s founder, Duncan Phillips (1886–1966), who often acquired their work in large numbers.

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