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“Like it, Know it, Got it”

December 22, 2011

Photos: Sarah Osborne Bender

Duncan Phillips wrote in his books. Lists and marginalia abound in what remains of his library. In the course of cataloguing our copies of the American Art Annual, precursor to Who’s Who in American Art and the American Art Directory, I came across more of Phillips’s notes. Here in the first edition from 1899, he even created a key to his markings: “All marks indicate importance: Take notice – Know the picture – In our collection,” and subsequently put it to good use.  Having marked items he did not acquire until years later, such as Julian Alden Weir’s Roses, acquired in 1920, he must have relied on this early volume as a significant resource, going back and annotating the content. I found additional markings in the 1916 and 1922 editions.

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