ABOUT THE PHILLIPS

America's First Museum of Modern Art

Encounter superb works of modern art in an intimate setting at The Phillips Collection, opened to the public in 1921 in Washington’s vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood. Paintings by Renoir and Rothko, Bonnard and O'Keeffe, van Gogh and Diebenkorn are among the many stunning impressionist and modern works that fill the museum. Its distinctive building combines extensive new galleries with the former home of its founder, Duncan Phillips. The collection continues to develop with selective new acquisitions, many by contemporary artists, including Wolfgang Laib, Whitfield Lovell, and Leo Villareal. Frequent changes in the arrangement of the permanent collection mean that there's something fresh on every visit to the Phillips. 

The Phillips’s impact spreads nationally and internationally through its highly distinguished special exhibitions, programs, and events that catalyze dialogue surrounding the continuity between art of the past and the present. Among the Phillips’s esteemed programs are its award-winning education programs for educators, students, and adults; well-established Phillips Music series; and sell-out Phillips after 5 events. The museum contributes to the art conversation on a global scale with events like Conversations with Artists and the International Forum. The Phillips Collection values its community partnerships with the University of Maryland—the museum’s nexus for academic work, scholarly exchange, and interdisciplinary collaborations—and THEARC—the museum’s new campus serving the Southeast DC community. The Phillips Collection is a private, non-government museum, supported primarily by donations. 

Mission Statement

The Phillips Collection is an "intimate museum combined with an experiment station."–Duncan Phillips, 1926

The Phillips Collection is an exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art in a dynamic environment for collaboration, innovation, engagement with the world, scholarship, and new forms of public participation. 


The Phillips Collection is open during the thermal upgrade renovations, although the original Phillips house galleries are currently unavailable. Special exhibitions and selections from the permanent collection are on view in the Goh Annex and Sant Building galleries, and the cafe, shop, and courtyard also remain open. The Phillips house galleries will reopen in 2018. Download the press release for more information.