The Phillips Collection praises itself as America’s first museum of modern art. The collection encompasses art from the 1800s to today (French impressionism to contemporary art). Because it is not on the Mall or part of the Smithsonian system, the Phillips often gets overlooked…and wrongly so. Here, you’ll find the works of artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Henri Matisse, Berenice Abbott, and Jacob Lawrence.
It is a real pleasure to visit the museum. The galleries are well-designed and there is a great mix of early modern works with contemporary works. There is also a fantastic bookstore and a lively cafe.
Be sure to visit Wolfgang Laib’s wax room. Made of 440 pounds of melted beeswax, it is a small, cocoon-like chamber that accommodates one or two people, and is filled with an intense, but comforting smell of beeswax.
The Phillips is currently open and is following DC’s Covid-19 guidelines. Tickets must be reserved online in advance.