Marjorie Acker Phillips – Painter / Collector


"The Big Pear" 1955

Marjorie Acker Phillips is perhaps most known as co-founder of the Phillips Collection which is an "intimate museum combined with an experiment station." Duncan Phillips This collection is located in in Washington, D.C. and was a collaborative effort of both Marjorie and Duncan. I became aware of Acker-Phillips at an exhibit that's currently open at the Princeton University Museum called The Artist See's Differently: Modern Still Life's from the Phillips Collection.

"Barn on a Hill"

Acker-Phillips work is nestled among European and American masters such as Cezanne, Picasso and O'Keefe and have a unique charm. Born in 1894 Acker-Phillips is considered an Impressionist painter and studied at the Art Students League at 21 and was encouraged early on by her uncles to pursue and develop her apparent artistic ability. She painted both landscapes and still life's throughout her career and is recorded as having said "I decided to paint the celebration of the wonder of the world. I didn’t want to paint depressing pictures. There were so many depressing things; so many self-conscious, forced, foolish things. That’s why my paintings are all on the cheerful side—I felt it was needed.” There is a harmonious quality to her work that is hard to ignore. A simplicity and peacefulness that just draws me in. I appreciate her desire to paint pictures that celebrate the wonder of life as all to often we can get bombarded with the negative aspects of living." I recognize not all art is about creating "beauty" and that is a relative term. But it's a lovely escape to stand and be enveloped by the calming effect of her work.

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