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The collection opened to the public in 1921 and is located in Washington’s 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. The museum is part of the Massachusetts Avenue Historic District.


  • The Phillips Collection
  • Interior of the building
  • The Music Room with art
  • The Phillips House, home to the collection, as seen circa 1900

The Phillips Collection is housed at 1600 21st Street in Washington, D.C. and was established following the untimely death of Phillips' father, window glass magnate Duncan Clinch Phillips, in 1917. The Duncan Memorial Gallery began as a small collection of family paintings displayed above the north wing of the Phillips home. The collection expanded dramatically and by 1930, with an inventory of over 600 pieces, the Phillips family relocated to a different home and converted the entire property into an art gallery.  

The property has undergone a number of additions and renovations to accommodate the expanding collection. A modernist wing was added to the original structure in 1960 and was later renovated in 1989. The addition was named the "Goh Annex" in honor of Japanese businessman Yasuhiro Goh's contributions to the restoration project. A large-scale construction project was completed in 2006 that added an additional 30,000 square feet to the structure-- 65% of which was below ground. The new space is known as the Sant Building and includes expanded galleries, an auditorium, courtyard, and the Center for the Study of Modern Art. 

Phillips Collection. Accessed December 2017. http://www.phillipscollection.org/

Forgey, Benjamin. "Dwelling on a Mediocre Past." The Washington Post. April 16, 2006. Accessed December 2017. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/14/AR2006041400298.html 

National Register of Historic Places. “Massachusetts Avenue Historic District.” National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, Department of the Interior, 1974. Accessed December 2017. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/3396e30f-4d92-42c3-89da-4d7a81dd6c8c