It's Steaming

'Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures' at NGA

September 26, 2017

The National Gallery of Art is hosting an exhibition of Jean Honoré Fragonard’s paintings from October 8 through December 3, 2017.


Combining art, fashion, science, and conservation, this revelatory exhibition brings together—for the first time—some 14 of the paintings known as the fantasy figures by Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806). He is considered among the most characteristic and important French painters of his era, and the fantasy figure series—several rapidly executed, brightly colored paintings of lavishly costumed individuals—are some of his most beloved works. The subjects are depicted posed at leisure or employed in various pursuits, such as acting, reading, writing, playing instruments, or singing. Wearing extravagant attire, these figures are dressed in what was known in 18th-century France as à l'espagnole (Spanish style)—plumed hats, slashed sleeves, ribbons, rosettes, ruffs, capes, and accents of red and black.


Fragonard’s fantasy figures are shown alongside a newly discovered drawing covered with 18 thumbnail-sized sketches and apparently annotated in the rococo artist's own hand. The drawing, Sketches of Portraits, emerged at a Paris auction in 2012 and upended several long-held assumptions about the fantasy figures: 14 of the sketches have been identified with these paintings, and four presumably relate to works that remain unknown. All but one of the sketches are annotated with a name, presumably that of the person portrayed or the individual who commissioned the corresponding painting—thereby putting to rest a long-standing debate over whether the fantasy figures depict known individuals or imaginary models. At the National Gallery of Art, the emergence of this drawing prompted a two-year investigation of Young Girl Reading, conducted as a collaborative effort by Yuriko Jackall, assistant curator of French paintings, John K. Delaney, senior imaging scientist, and Michael Swicklik, senior conservator of paintings. Their findings establish Young Girl Reading as a part of the fantasy figure series and shed light upon Fragonard's approach to the ensemble as a whole.


Building upon this research, the exhibition Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures explores the many interpretations of this series in the context of the artist's career and elucidates the development of that career, the identity of his sitters and patrons, and the significance of his innovative imagery. Fragonard strove to create a specific portrait type that showcased the painterly skill for which he was renowned. Created within the competitive atmosphere of the Parisian art world, these works were influenced by a range of events, artworks, and visitors to his studio. Shaped by artistic imagination, these paintings pushed the boundaries of accepted figure painting in the 18th century.


Other works in the exhibition include the rarely lent, privately held portraits of the Harcourt brothers François-Henri, duc d'Harcourt (c. 1770) and Anne-François d'Harcourt, duc de Beuvron (c. 1770), as well as The Vestal (c. 1769–1771), The Actor (c. 1769), and The Singer (c. 1769). Also on view is the Louvre's M. de La Bretèche (c. 1769), which depicts the wealthy brother of one of Fragonard's most devoted patrons, Jean-Claude Richard, abbé de Saint-Non.

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Staff Show at The Phillips Collection

August 10, 2017

For more than 25 years, The Phillips Collection has held a staff show to feature the works of artists employed at the museum.  This year the show runs from August 3 through September 17, 2017 in the Sant Building, Lower Level 2.


In 1984, the staff show was endowed by the family of James McLaughlin, an accomplished still-life painter who was a student at the Phillips Gallery Art School and also worked at the museum for 50 years. Until his death in 1982, McLaughlin played an active role in the museum’s activities as a gallery preparator and curator.



Molly Abraham

Roberto Alcaraz

Lauren Argueta

Ernest Baroni

Naomi Berhane

Fallon Chase

Christy Conrad

Tiffany Corbin

Esther Epstein

Travis Ferguson

Emily Francisco

Donna Gabriel

April Gifford

Andrew Gilman

Melissa Groth

Mike Guy

Travis Houze

Joel Innovinci

Gregory Jallat

Anna Kaminski

Racquel Keller

Chad Lawrence

Ann Lipscombe

Ashley Most

Hadiyyah Muhammad

Rhiannon Newman

Brittany O’Dowd

Arnold Oppler

Victor Pierre

Victoria Potucek

Emily Rader

Alanna Reeves

Mark Sampson

Lizzie Sampson

Kim Sandara

Angela Silhan

Laurel Simon

Pamela Singleton Howe

Kayla Skibbe

Sean Smith

Patricia Svoboda

Bella Varela

Mark Westman

Jeffrey Whitelow

Stephen Whiteside 

Amy Wike

Alexandra Wilson 

Tracy Wingate

Shelly Wischhusen


The Phillips Collection is located at 1600 21st Street NW

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Rosewood Hotel Partners with Politics and Prose

July 18, 2017

Celebrate summer reading at Rosewood Washington D.C., the luxurious urban retreat along the C&O Canal. has teamed This landmark Georgetown hotel has teamed up with Politics and Prose for a curated library expreience. 


“Summer is a time for relaxing and recharging, and there is no better way to slow down than by indulging in a great read,” said Pascal Forotti, managing director of Rosewood Washington D.C. “With the knowledgeable guidance of beloved local bookstore Politics and Prose, we look forward to engaging our guests in exciting reads this summer and beyond, and providing insight into the local literary happenings around D.C."


Starting this week, the hotel will offer a curated library of books for guests to enjoy in the lobby.  The library includes a selection of summer titles, including The Identicals by Erin Hildebrand, Camino Island by John Grisham, The Hopefuls by local author Jennifer Close, and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Each book will include a description and recommendation from a Politics and Prose staff member, so that guests can select the title most suited to their interests.  Politics and Prose’s “Summer Reads” newsletter, detailing additional summer reading staff picks, will also be available in the lobby for guests to peruse.  For guests who would like to take a book home, the hotel will be accepting donations for Room to Read, a global organization transforming the lives of millions of children in low-income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.


“There is nothing better than relaxing with a good book in a beautiful setting, so we’re delighted to share some of our favorite summer reads with Rosewood Washington, D.C.’s guests,” said Jon Purves, director of marketing and publicity at Politics and Prose. “Hopefully there will be something for everyone in this selection!”


Just in time for the launch of the summer library, Rosewood Washington D.C.’s on-property bar, The Rye Bar, is also introducing a new summer cocktail menu offering refreshing libations for guests to sip while indulging in the summer reads.  The cocktails include Berry Night, a mix of vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, lemon bitters and maraschino liquor; the Lemongrass Spritzer, a vodka or brandy-based cocktail with lemongrass syrup, club soda, and lemon grass stem; La Paison, a blend of brandy, lime juice, passion fruit and simple syrups, and pineapple juice; and Pastéque, a tequila-based beverage with simple syrup, Cointreau, lime juice, and cré garnished with strawberries.


In keeping with the hotel’s new literary offerings, Rosewood Washington, D.C. is also offering a new turndown amenity called Hidden StoriesEach season, the hotel will create six historical, illustrated short stories that will be placed nightly in the guestrooms on a small card and invites guests to read about the neighborhood’s rich history.  The stories are rotated nightly, so that guests can enjoy a unique narrative over the course of their stay.  The summer edition includes interesting stories about the Georgetown streetcar, Rosewood’s hotel block, Canal Square, the historic customs house and post office, the C&O Canal, and the Dumbarton House.


Rosewood Washington D.C. is located at 1050 31st Street in Georgetown.


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