The Phillips Collection Presents Works by Alma W. Thomas, David Driskell, and Sanford Biggers

By Editorial Team on November 1, 2021
Alma Thomas, Pansies in Washington, 1969, Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 48 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Corcoran Collection (Gift of Vincent Melzac)

Continuing their centennial celebration, three exhibitions are now on view at The Phillips Collection this October.

Alma Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful

October 30, 2021–January 23, 2022

Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful provides a fresh perspective on the artist’s dynamic long life (1891-1978) and multifaceted career that was defined by constant creativity. This major retrospective traces her journey from semi-rural Georgia to Washington, DC, to becoming the first Black woman given a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art at age 81. Through artworks and archival materials, this exhibition demonstrates how Thomas’s wide-reaching artistic practices extended far beyond her studio, shaping every facet of her life—from community service, to teaching, to gardening.

Press release here.

David Driskell, Woman with Flowers, 1972, Oil and collage on canvas, 37 1/2 x 38 1/2 in.; Art Bridges Foundation, Bentonville, Arkansas

David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History

On view through January 9, 2022

David Driskell (1931-2020) has long been recognized for his vibrant and versatile artistic practice rooted in his reverence of the beauty and spirituality of the American landscape and his profound connection to the African diaspora. Featuring over 50 works, David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History offers the first comprehensive examination of the paintings, collages, prints, and drawings of the celebrated American artist, art historian, and educator. His legacy in the history of American art is unparalleled: through his curatorial work, writing, and teaching, he demonstrated that the art of Black people is essential to the story of American art.

Press release here.

Sanford Biggers, Mosaic, 2021, Antique quilt, birch plywood, and gold leaf, 52 1/2 x 72 x 20 in. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen

Sanford Biggers’s Intersections Project Mosaic

On view through January 2, 2022

Sanford Biggers’s Intersections project presents a visual and conceptual interplay—a mosaic—of distinct histories, cultural narratives, and art styles. Drawing from works in the Phillips’s permanent collection, including the Gee’s Bend quilts that were recently acquired and a number of European modernist sculptures, Biggers produced a new body of work—Mosaic, a three-dimensional quilt; Fool’s Folly, a floor piece made with sand; and The Cantor, a marble sculpture—that bridges past art traditions with current multimedia practices.

Press release here.


The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art, was founded in 1921. The museum houses one of the world’s most celebrated Impressionist and American modern art collections, and continues to grow its collection with important contemporary voices. Its distinctive building combines extensive new galleries with the former home of its founder, Duncan Phillips. The Phillips’s impact spreads nationally and internationally through its diverse and experimental special exhibitions and events, including its award-winning education programs for educators, students, and adults; renowned Phillips Music series; and dynamic art and wellness and Phillips after 5 events. The museum contributes to global dialogues with events like Conversations with Artists and Artists of Conscience. The Phillips Collection values its community partnership with THEARC—the museum’s satellite campus in Southeast DC. The Phillips Collection is a private, non-government museum, supported primarily by donations.

The Phillips Collection is located at 1600 21st St. NW.