From the ashes of grief, Duncan Phillips’ “phoenix” rose.
by Donna Evers
The Phillips Collection – the art collection that so many Washingtonians describe as their favorite – was born out of equal parts of love and loss. The Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918 killed 100 million people around the world, including the beloved brother of Duncan Phillips. James Phillips‘ death occurred only a year after Duncan’s father died, and the weight of these tragedies plunged Duncan Phillips into a state of despair. His love of art, by his own description, saved him. This is the story of how it happened.