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Duncan Phillips Centennial Exhibition records

Identifier: IR-CUR-002

Scope and Contents

These curatorial records were collected and created during the research, planning, and execution of the Duncan Phillips Centennial Exhibition and catalogue. As Laughlin Phillips, son of the museum’s founder, wrote in the exhibition catalogue, "This exhibition… is intended to clarify by example some of the ideas which inspired his collection and his ways of showing it."

The exhibition opened at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. on June 14, 1986 and closed August 31, 1986.

The primary creator of the exhibition planning records and the catalogue was Eliza Rathbone, Associate Curator.

The bulk of this collection consists of research and exhibition planning files. The records include correspondence; floor plans; articles; reviews; publicity; complementary programming; and installation design. The remaining source material is comprised of copies of correspondence from Duncan Phillips (1927-1941), a National Endowment for the Arts grant proposal (1986), an interdepartmental progress report (1986), and an activities calendar (1986).


  • 1920 - 1986
  • Usage: The material in this collection were used in preparation for the 1986 exhibition.


Biographical / Historical

This exhibition marks the centennial of founder Duncan Phillip’s birth and chronicles the evolution of the collection over its sixty-five year history.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 full legal box)

Language of Materials



Duncan Phillips Centennial Exhibition records hold material created and collected by Eliza Rathbone, currently Chief Curator, The Phillips Collection, throughout the process of organizing the 1986 exhibition. Included are research, exhibition planning documents and installation plans.


The collection is organized in one series: Exhibition Planning 1920 - 1986

This series has been arranged chronologically. This collection maintains the original order created by Eliza Rathbone, Associate Curator.

Custodial History

The collection is owned by The Phillips Collection and was accessioned from the curator’s office.

Processing Information

After an initial survey of the collection, some documents were identified as being of no future reference value for the collection, such as duplicate documents, expense reports, obsolete collection inventories, payment requisitions, and funding bids. These items were weeded with the librarian’s approval. Original newsprint articles were copied onto acid-free paper; all documents were re-foldered in acid-free folders and metal paper clips were replaced with plastic clips.

Duncan Phillips Centennial Exhibition records, 1920-1986
The Phillips Collection Library and Archives 1600 21st Street NW Washington D.C. 20009
Michele De Shazo, Volunteer Archives Assistant, supervised by Karen Schneider, Librarian
December, 2008-January, 2009
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Phillips Collection Archives Repository

1600 21st St. NW
Washington DC 20009 United States