We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
In all its promotional materials, the Phillips Collection bills itself as “America’s first museum of modern art.” But even though the museum has described itself that way for nearly 100 years, it focuses on the strict definition of modern art, highlighting pieces by a recurring cast of 19th and early 20th century artists. In 2009, curators launched the “Intersections” series in an attempt to get contemporary practitioners to create work that interacts with the museum’s permanent collection and location. Memorable highlights from the past five years include Spanish artist Bernardi Roig’s plaster figures placed throughout the museum and Sandra Cinto’s intricate ink drawings of waves and clouds. Now, the museum celebrates the series’ anniversary with an exhibition of work both new and old by all 21 of the “Intersections” artists. Visitors will find familiar oil paintings as well as some more challenging pieces, like Allan deSouza’s pedestrian sign, “Crossing.” The museum certainly owns more conventionally famous artworks, but these new pieces allow viewers to see the Phillips in a fresh light. The exhibition is on view Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Sundays noon to 7 p.m., to Oct. 25, at the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. $10–$12. (202) 387-2151. phillipscollection.org.