One of the big art shows of the season opens Saturday at the Tampa Museum of Art and it is also one of the loveliest. "To See as Artists See: American Art from the Phillips Collection" debuts Saturday.
The 107 paintings are a survey of American art from the 1850s through the 1960s by some of the most important names in the genre, among them Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Grandma Moses, Jacob Lawrence, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
It's also a personal show, from the collection of the late Duncan Phillips (1886-1966) who set out to assemble the best representation of the art of his time by Americans and Europeans, as well as earlier artists he considered important precursors. He was part of a wealthy family who collected art and he expanded that collection and founded a museum to exhibit it as a memorial to his father and brother who died unexpectedly when Phillips was in his early 30s. It was the first museum of modern art in the United State.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic