The Phillips Collection
was founded by Duncan and Marjorie Acker Phillips and feature artists such as Matisse
, Monet, Braque, Dove and van Gogh. Opened in 1921, America’s first museum of modern art sets the scene for nearly 3000 works by American and European impressionist as well as modern artists. Perhaps its most significant piece is the Luncheon of the Boating Party
(1881) which depicts the idyllic atmosphere in which Renoir’s friends get together over food and wine on a balcony of the Maison Fournaise restaurant, overlooking the Seine. The painting is an intriguing reflection of the changes in French society with the restaurant opening its doors to all sorts of classes from businessmen to society women, artists, shop girls and actresses. Renoir managed to maintain ‘the freshness of his vision’ and created one of the most magnificent works of art. The Phillips Collection itself is widely regarded one of the best private collections in the world.