The Phillips Collection Hosts Workshop Series Nature|Spirit|Art

By Editorial Team on February 28, 2022
Gustave Courbet, The Mediterranean, 1857, Oil on canvas, 23 1/4 x 33 1/2 in., The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1924

The Phillips Collection is hosting and partnering on several programs this spring that respond to the climate crisis: Nature|Spirit|Art, a workshop series, and the culmination of the Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards. In addition, the museum presents Nature [Unframed], a special installation of permanent collection pieces that reflects on the truth and impact of nature through landscape painting.

Nature|Spirit|Art: Personal Resilience in the Time of Climate Change *POSTPONED*

Workshop held Thursday evenings March 3–April 7, 2022 May 26-June 23, 2022.

The Phillips Collection | Register

Through immersive engagements with art, landsape, and meditation, Nature|Spirit|Art helps participants cultivate personal resilience in the face of climate change. This five-session workshop provides participants opportunities to experience their gratitude for the Earth, explore their climate grief, re-imagine their relationship to the natural world, and take collective action in service to the planet. Drawing on the extraordinary modernist landscape art at The Phillips Collection, as well as the plant and animal life in nearby Rock Creek Park, Nature|Spirit|Art helps participants develop tools to face the climate crisis with a buoyant and courageous spirit. We will engage eco-critical art theory, eco-Buddhist thought, art-making, and practices of mindfulness and meditation.

Workshop leaders: Joshua Shannon, Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of Maryland; Robert Hardies, former minister of All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC, and current Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Martha’s Vineyard; and Aparna Sadananda, art-based meditation instructor at The Phillips Collection and Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, and senior yoga teacher at Yoga District in Washington, DC.

Registration is limited to 20 participants who can commit to be present for all five meetings.

Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards

COAL + ICE Exhibition March 15–April 22, 2022

The Kennedy Center | Plan your visit

Organized by the Asia Society and Helen Frankenthaler Foundation and presented in collaboration with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and National Gallery of Art, with support from Environmental Defense Fund, the award is designed to foster climate change awareness through the imagination and insights of an upcoming generation of visual artists.

The Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards will name three winning artists, selected by a jury comprised of leaders from the collaborating institutions including Dorothy Kosinski, Vrandenburg Director and CEO, The Phillips Collection; Melissa Chiu, Director, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Molly Donovan, Curator of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Art; and Michelle Yun Mapplethrope, Vice President for Global Artistic Programs at Asia Society and Director of Asia Society Museum, New York. Each artist will receive $15,000 and be honored in April 2022 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The awards have been organized in conjunction with COAL + ICE, an immersive exhibition featuring more than 40 documentary photographers and video artists from around the world, that seeks to visualize the climate crisis. COAL + ICE will be on view at the Kennedy Center from March 15 through April 22, 2022.

Artists of Conscience/COAL + ICE: Artists confront the climate crisis

        Panel discussion April 2, 2022 | Details forthcoming

Held on the occasion of the Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards and the COAL + ICE exhibition, the afternoon panel discussion, presented jointly by The Phillips Collection and Asia Society, will bring together figures from the arts, policy, and scientific communities to discuss how the arts can be an impetus for action against climate change. The panel will be chaired by Nora Halpern, independent curator and Vice President of Leadership Alliances at Americans for the Arts and will be preceded by the announcement of the three winners of the Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards.

Nature [Unframed]

Special installation up through the end of May

The Phillips Collection | Plan your visit

For this installation of landscape paintings from the Phillips’s permanent collection by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet, Augustus Vincent Tack, and Julian Alden Weir, every canvas has been unframed, stripped of its ornamental parergon, which, according to the German 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant, augments the viewer’s delight in form but is considered an add-on rather than an intrinsic part of the work. Stripping a painting of its frame is both an encroachment and a revelation; it reveals what is not meant to be seen or is seen only in the intimacy of an artist’s studio (or a museum’s conservation lab).

Stripping a landscape painting of its frame can also serve as a metaphor. The truth in painting is not its thingness confined within its frame and separated from the outside world. Unframed, unprotected, and exposed, the paintings reveal their truth to be the truth of nature.


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.