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Directorial Correspondence: The Correspondence of Marjorie Phillips

Identifier: DIG-002

Content Description

Directorial Correspondence includes letters, postcards, telegrams, pamphlets, schedules, invoices, and receipts. These materials document the patronage offered to artists whose works are represented in the collection and include written exchanges with dealers, critics, visitors, staff, family members, museums, galleries, organizations, and historic figures. This material includes approximately 2 linear feet of primary source correspondence during Marjorie Phillips's tenure as director of The Phillips Collection.


  • Creation: 1966 - 1973


Conditions Governing Access

This collection was digitized in 2021. For access to digital copies please contact Library and Archival Staff.

Conditions Governing Use

This material is owned by The Phillips Collection.

Biographical / Historical

Marjorie Acker Phillips was born in 1894 in Bourbon, Indiana. She was one of six children born to Charles Ernest Acker and Alice Beal. She was raised in Ossining, New York. She started drawing at a young age, and her uncles Gifford and Reynolds Beal encouraged her artistic talent.

In January 1921, Marjorie Acker attended an art exhibition at the Century Association in New York City, and met art collector Duncan Phillips. The two married later that year and they moved in with Duncan Phillips's mother in Dupont Circle, Washington D.C. The Dupont Circle mansion opened as The Phillips Memorial Art Gallery in that same year, 1921. The gallery was a memorial for Marjorie Acker Phillips's father- and brother-in-law.

In 1922 Marjorie Acker Phillips gave birth to Mary Marjorie and in 1924 to Laughlin. She continued painting and helped Duncan Phillips develop his renowned art collection. Their collection expanded so much between 1921 and 1930, that in 1930 the couple moved to a new house. They moved to "Dunmarlin", in the nearby Foxhall neighborhood in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

After Duncan Phillips passed away in 1966, Marjorie Acker Phillips took over as the director of the museum and held the position until her son, Laughlin Phillips, replaced her in 1972. She passed away in 1985 at "Dunmarlin."


2.1 Linear Feet (5 full legal boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection has one series, Correspondence. The material in this collection is arranged alphabetically according to correspondent name.

Directorial Correspondence: The Correspondence of Marjorie Phillips 1966-1973
The Phillips Collection Library and Archives 1600 21st Street NW Washington D.C. 20009
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