Art-lovers Duncan Phillips and his wife Marjorie were so enmeshed in the art scene, having acted as patrons to artists like Georgia O'Keefe and Marsden Hartley, that they decided to turn their home—a striking 1897 Georgian Revival mansion—into a museum in 1921 (they later moved so that they could use the entire building for their collection). In so doing they beat New York's MoMa by eight years and became America's first museum of modern art. The stunning compilation of European and American artworks from the 19th to 21st centuries reads like's a who's who of French impressionists with works by Picasso, Monet, Degas, Matisse, Cézanne, and, most impressively, Renoir (the crown jewel of the collection is his famous painting Luncheon of the Boating Party). That's not to downplay the influence of American artists—Duncan's modus operandi in his lifetime was to put U.S. artists on par with their European counterparts and he was friends with Richard Diebenkorn, Mark Rothko, and Arthur Dove. If you like a little wine and live music with your modern art, come on the first Thursday of every month from 5-8:30PM for the “Phillips after 5” event—they're fun, educational, and, if you're single, a great way to meet people.
- Open Hours: Tuesday to Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM, Thursday from 10:00 AM to 08:30 PM, Friday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM, Sunday from 11:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Arts & Museums
- Credit Cards Accepted: mastercard, amex, visa
- Nearest Train: Dupont Circle