Figure 1. Dead Bird, by the influential 19th-century American artist Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847–1917), was first seen by Duncan Phillips no later than 1916 but was not purchased for the collection until it became available a decade later. The major scholarly catalog of The Phillips Collection, The Eye of Duncan Phillips: a Collection in the Making (1), calls Dead Bird "one of Ryder's most powerful images," noting that it "explores a recurrent illusory theme: the coexistence of the corporeal and the ethereal," and that "[s]uch starkly realistic details as the rigidly curled claws, rendered in heavy impasto, and the subtle textured contrasts of plumage and beak, create a moving evocation of suffering and death." - The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Reproduced with permission.