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This book is both a survey of the major European and American works in The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and a guide to the museum’s holdings and significance. A study of the history of taste in twentieth-century America, it documents the evolution of modernism as well as the pivotal role played by Duncan Phillips (1886-1966) as a critic and collector. Written by leading scholars in the field, the book begins with three essays on Phillips the writer, collector, and museum director. The contributors note that Phillips viewed modernism as evolutionary, reaching back to sources in the Renaissance and forward to the modern sensibilities of such artists as Bonnard, Dove, Klee, and Rothko. He installed his collection to explore visual tensions and harmonies – between past and present, between classical form and romantic expression. The book continues with eleven chapters, each devoted to a different area of the collection and each accompanied by an introductory essay. More than four hundred works of art are presented and examined, chosen from the museum’s holdings for their significance as milestones in the history of the collection and in Phillips’s aesthetic development.