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Phillips Flashback: September 1926

September 13, 2011

John Henry Twachtman, The Emerald Pool, circa 1895. Oil on canvas, 25 x 25 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1921.

Duncan and Marjorie Phillips have the pleasure of meeting Pierre Bonnard, who visits them after serving as  juror for the 1926 Carnegie International exhibition. The Phillipses had attended the International the previous year and purchased their first works by the French painter, Early Spring (1908) and Woman with Dog (1922). In Bonnard, Phillips finds the essence of his approach to the enjoyment of art: delight in color and the visual world. The following year finds a flurry of acquisition with Phillips buying five paintings by Bonnard. In 1930, the Phillips Memorial Gallery hosts the first American solo exhibition by the artist.

Among the works Bonnard saw on his visit to the Phillips, it is John Henry Twachtman’s The Emerald Pool (above) that he proclaims to be his favorite of the American paintings on view. Phillips must be pleased to have his commitment to American artists endorsed by an artist he holds in such high regard; a French artist at that.

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