'Discovering Milton Avery'

Exhibit Celebrates Friendship Between Painter and Violinist

Milton Avery painting Annette Kaufman's portrait, with Louis Kaufman playing the violin, 1944. Courtesy The Phillips Collection hide caption

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itoggle caption Courtesy The Phillips Collection

Annette Kaufman in a Black Dress, 1944 Louis and Annette Kaufman Collection hide caption

View enlargement and other works from the exhibit.
itoggle caption Louis and Annette Kaufman Collection

In 1928, violinist Louis Kaufman became the first person to buy a painting by Milton Avery. A year later, The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., became the first museum to acquire a work by Avery. NPR's Susan Stamberg reports on a new exhibit at the Phillips that celebrates the long friendship between the two artists.

Stamberg describes the works as abstract but accessible. "The paintings of Milton Avery are rooted in home and hearth," she says. "He was a very personal painter. A painter of the familiar — his family, his studio, a seascape he loved. And friends" — like Kaufman and his wife, Annette. Her portraits are part of the exhibit, Discovering Milton Avery: Two Devoted Collectors, Louis Kaufman and Duncan Phillips, which runs through May 16.

The show features some 80 works created from 1926 to 1963, some making their public debut. They include items from the Phillips and Kaufman collections as well as selections from the National Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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