Side by Side: Oberlin's Masterworks at the Phillips

September 11, 2010 - January 16, 2011
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Twenty-five old master and modern works from the Allen Memorial Art Museum are juxtaposed with works from the Phillips Collection, underscoring the relationship of art through the ages and Duncan Phillips’s belief in “the antiquity of modern ideas…the modernity of some of the old masters.”

Paintings by Erhard Altdorfer, Cavaliere d’Arpino, Cézanne, Monet, Picasso, Kirchner, Rothko, Barnett Newman, and others are installed in contexts that explore how art across time can be juxtaposed to create new ways of looking at art. Outstanding Dutch and Flemish works by Hendrick ter Brugghen—his Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene of 1625 is considered one of the most important Northern Baroque paintings in this country—and Sweert’s Self-Portrait (ca. 1656), are included along with Rubens’s Finding of Erichthonius of about 1632-33. Oberlin’s Rubens painting is shown with the Phillips’s radiant Luncheon of the Boating Party made about 1880 by Auguste Renoir; throughout his career, Renoir was inspired by Ruben’s colors and compositions.

Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka’s Sposalizio (Double Portrait) of 1912 was donated to the AMAM by the artist’s friend Lotte Franzos and is displayed near the Phillips’s portrait of Franzos by the same artist—both paintings provide a window on Kokoschka’s attempts to capture the psychological state of his sitters through expressive means. AMAM works by Rothko, Gottlieb, and Newman are displayed outside the Phillips’s beautiful Rothko room—providing a fuller story about these artists’ role in defining the nascent New York School and Abstract Expressionism.

Organized by Andria Derstine and Stephanie Wiles, with curators Renée Maurer and Eliza Rathbone of The Phillips Collection.

A complete list of events related to the "Side by Side" exhibition is available below.

Podcasts related to a selection of works on display in the exhibition can be found here.




Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577 - 1640)
The Finding of Erichthonius, 1632-33
Oil on canvas
R. T. Miller, Jr. Fund, 1944.96


Lectures and Public Programs related to "Side by Side: Oberlin's Masterworks at The Phillips Collection"

September 16, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Curatorial Dialogue: Conversations between Paintings: Oberlin Masterworks at the Phillips

Colette Crossman, former Curator of Academic Programs at Oberlin College’s Allen Memorial Art Museum, and Renée Maurer, Assistant Curator at the Phillips, discuss the surprising and provocative conversations that arise among artworks when paintings from the AMAM are displayed with selections from the Phillips’s permanent collection.

September 19, 2010, 12:00p.m.
Special Exhibition Tours: Side by Side: Oberlin Masterworks at the Phillips

Provocative juxtapositions are created when 25 masterworks from the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin are presented with selections from the Phillips’s permanent collection.

September 23, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Curator's Perspective: Hendrick ter Brugghen’s Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., Curator of Northern Baroque Painting at the National Gallery of Art, discusses
Ter Brugghen’s renowned Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene and other Dutch and Flemish art featured in Side by Side: Oberlin’s Masterworks at the Phillips.

September 26, 2010, 12:00p.m.
Special Exhibition Tours—Side by Side: Oberlin Masterworks at the Phillips

Provocative juxtapositions are created when 25 masterworks from the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin are presented with selections from the Phillips’s permanent collection.

September 30, 2010, 6 & 7 p.m.
Gallery Talks: Rubens and Renoir—A Legacy of Color and Light

Peter Paul Rubens’s lively figures and dynamic light, color, and texture in works like The Finding of Erichthonius influenced Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s own vibrant canvases, including Luncheon of the Boating Party.

September 30, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Concert: Painting Music: Musicians from Oberlin’s Conservatory

A string quartet from The Oberlin Conservatory of Music responds to Side by Side: Oberlin’s Masterworks at the Phillips. Oberlin’s talented students will play both standard repertoire and contemporary music in the Phillips’s intimate, wood-paneled Music Room. $20; $8 for members; includes museum admission.

October 7, 2010, 5:00 - 8:30p.m.
Phillips After 5
Lecture: “This Jewel of an Art Museum": Oberlin at the Phillips, 6:30 pm.

Richard Spear, former director of the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, will be discussing
the history of the AMAM from 1917 until 1977.

A lively mix of art and entertainment on the first Thursday of each month. Due to the popularity of
Phillips after 5, advance reservations during special exhibitions are encouraged to insure admission. No reservations are needed for Phillips members. Members get in free.

October 14, 2010, 6 & 7 p.m.
Gallery Talks: The New York School: Simple Expressions of Complex Thoughts

New York school members such as Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, and Barnett Newman communicated complex subject matter using abstracted visual form; paintings by these artists from the AMAM will be discussed.

October 21, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Lecture: Side by Side: Oberlin’s Masterworks at the Phillips

Andria Derstine, Curator of Collections and Curator of European & American Art at the AMAM, highlights the visual interplay and rich dialogues that result when masterworks from the collections of Oberlin and the Phillips hang side by side.

November 5, 2010, 11 a.m.
Special Exhibition Tour

Provocative juxtapositions are created when 25 masterworks from the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin are presented with selections from the Phillips's permanent collection.  Art historian and Oberlin alumnus Dr. Bill Kloss (OC '62) will lead a tour of the exhibition.

November 18, 2010, 11 a.m.
Special Exhibition Tour

Provocative juxtapositions are created when 25 masterworks from the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin are presented with selections from the Phillips's permanent collection.  Art historian and Oberlin alumnus Dr. Bill Kloss (OC '62) will lead a tour of the exhibition.

December 11, 2010, 11 a.m.
Special Exhibition Tour

Provocative juxtapositions are created when 25 masterworks from the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin are presented with selections from the Phillips's permanent collection.  Art historian and Oberlin alumnus Dr. Bill Kloss (OC '62) will lead a tour of the exhibition.