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Phillips Flashback: May 1921

May 14, 2011

Marjorie recalls that this painting hung in the library during her first visit to Duncan's home. Julian Alden Weir, Woodland Rocks, 1910-1919. The Phillips Collection

Marjorie Acker and the Gifford Beals visit the Phillips’s house in Washington, D.C. and see the Main Gallery and North Library hung with paintings.

According to Duncan Phillips and his Collection (1970) by Marjorie Phillips, née Acker, Duncan wrote to her on May 14, 1921, about four months after they met in New York. He invited her and her “Uncle Giff’s” family to Washington “to see the collection installed.” She recollects the pleasure of waking in the morning and seeing Arthur B. Davies’s painting, Children, Dogs, and Pony, hanging by the bed. “Paintings everywhere!” she exclaims. Her impression of the neighborhood that would become her home, Dupont Circle, is of “a leisurely, almost southern village atmosphere, with hurdy-gurdies playing and men pushing their carts of fresh flowers or fruits, crying ‘Stra-a-berries’ in loud melodious voices.” Duncan and Marjorie were married in October of 1921, opening the collection to the public soon after.

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