News & Insights

The Phillips Collection Announces Enhancement Project for Building and Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DCThe Phillips Collection announced an upcoming enhancement project, designed to improve thermal performance in the original 1897 building, which once served as founder Duncan Phillips’s residence and was later transformed to a permanent gallery space for his collection. Pending necessary approvals, work is expected to begin at the end of May 2017. Carefully designed to preserve and enhance the building’s historic character, the project will migrate the house gallery spaces to a fully digitized temperature and humidity control system.

The museum will be open throughout construction, though part of the museum will be unavailable to visitors during the project. Programming will operate at full speed, including Phillips Music, Phillips after 5, and the museum’s education programs. The Rothko Room, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and many of the permanent collection’s beloved works will also remain on view to visitors.

“Doing this important work in advance of the museum’s centennial lays the groundwork to improve the visitor experience and ensure the preservation of the collection for future generations of art lovers and enthusiasts,” said Thomas D. Rutherfoord, Jr., Trustee and Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee for The Phillips Collection.

The Phillips will continue to present world class exhibitions, including shows highlighting the work of German contemporary artist Markus Lüpertz and a major exhibition around the museum’s iconic Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Critically acclaimed Phillips Music Sunday Concerts will continue next door at the elegant Cosmos Club’s historic Warne Ballroom, the popular Phillips after 5 program will continue on the first Thursday of each month, and the annual Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days will continue as usual in June.

The Phillips Collection partnered with Bowie Gridley Architects; Mueller Associates, Inc., engineers; Keast & Hood structural engineers; and JM Zell Partners as owners’ representatives for the project. Consigli Construction Co., Inc., is the project’s general contractor. This project will replace the building’s current control system with more efficient mechanisms and improve the building envelope to better protect the new equipment and celebrated collection. The project aligns with Duncan Phillips’s mission to “create a beneficent force in the community where I live—a joy-giving, life-enhancing influence, assisting people to see beautifully as true artists see.”

“We are proud of our involvement in preserving and restoring some of the nation’s most notable museums, and we are excited to partner with The Phillips Collection for this historic project,” said Matthew Consigli, President of Consigli. “It’s an honor for us to contribute to a project that will ensure that art enthusiasts will be able to enjoy one of the world’s most important collections for years to come.”

Consigli, a national award-winning construction management firm, has restored and renovated other notable American museums such as the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut; The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; and the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine, the largest museum in the state. Consigli’s work on other National Historic Landmarks includes the renovation and restoration of the New York State Capitol building in Albany and the restoration of Trinity Church and Old South Church in Boston.

Museum Will Be Open and Active During Project to Upgrade Temperature Regulation and Controls May 2017–January 2018