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Phillips Museum celebrates 90 years

Sometimes the best things in life are free. When I heard that Phillips Museum in DC was celebrating its 90th Anniversary with free admission and cake, I was eager to pay a visit to this jewel of a museum. One of my favorite rooms in this museum is a Rothko Room that has four paintings by one of my favorite artists.

I was happy that Jenna agreed to join me on my mini cultural adventure. One horrible Metro ride later, I was ready to see some art. Luckily there wasn't a line when we got to the museum, but it definitely was crowded. Very crowded. Fyi, parents, don't let your kids sit on the floor when there are crowds of people trying to make their way through to see different paintings.

Speaking of paintings, I really loved two big canvases by Howard Hodgkin. The colors are so vibrant and alive...maybe I should do something similar on a wall of my living room?

I like art. But I must admit that what I really wanted to see were the cakes designed by some of the top pastry chefs in DC for 90th Anniversary of Phillips Museum. Alas, there were no samples: you can look, but you can't touch (or taste).

Below are my photos of the cakes and descriptions provided by Cecilia Wagner | Publicity and Marketing Manager for Phillips Museum.

Enjoy and please let me know in the comments area which cake was your favorite. I'll put a few stars by my favorite cakes.
Restaurant Eve Birthday Cake

“My inspiration for the cake is to take some of my favorite artists in The Phillips Collection (the French impressionist Monet, van Gogh...) and using their color palettes, create more of a sculpture than a traditional cake shape in keeping with the timeless spirit of the Phillips.”

A Whispered Candle ***

“This devil’s food cake, with milk chocolate praline filling and grand mariner butter cream combined with an orange scented white cake with orange blossom and chamomile-infused butter cream, takes its inspiration from the aura of Oskar Kokoschka’s Portrait of Lotte Franzos (1909). The painting crosses the boundaries and generations that define The Phillips Collection, as if it were holding a conversation between other works in the collection. A key piece, if you will, that makes one understand why Phillips chose it for his home. Two flavors are intertwined to produce a bold and graceful whispered conversation in intimate but evocative confection.”

Spicy Ginger Cake **

Chef Brett was inspired to create this cake by the energy and boldness of Matisse’s Interior With Egyptian Curtain (1948) in The Phillips Collection.  The themes of vitality, growth, and regeneration represent to Peter the Phillips’s 90 year history, especially after the reopening of the original house. The foundation of his cake will be built on tiers patterned after the painting’s curtain, window with palm tree, and coral table top, culminating in the bowl of fruit.

CakeLove Birthday Cake 

“I love the layers of colors and expression of light in the works at The Phillips Collection. Layering paint to express light inspires me to layer a variety of flours, spices, sugars, and liqueurs to create texture and flavor in the layers of a cake.  Accents on the cake’s exterior are hints of the treasures waiting to be uncovered with each bite. Butter and sponge cakes are layered with an old-fashioned, cooked milk buttercream and gently sculpted. The cake is covered in French meringues and accented with flurries of candied nuts and candies.”

Pecan Butterscotch Cake *****

“I developed this Pecan Butterscotch Cake in honor of the Phillips’s 90th Anniversary because I wanted to create something that represents one of the many ‘truths’ that exist in both art and food.  Like many great artists, my work in the kitchen requires talent, skill, and precision…but we’re all still a bit nutty.”

Quark Torte 
by TRAVIS OLSON | 1789

“I am going to prepare a ‘quark torte,’ a sort of cheesecake that would be found in Paul Klee’s home country of Switzerland. The outside of the cake will be decorated with colored spice cookies that mimic the shapes and colors of Klee’s painting The Way to the Citadel (1937).”

Equinox Birthday Cake ***

“My inspiration for the 90th Anniversary cake is Untitled by Alexander Calder (1948).  The linear movement and use of the space surrounding the sculpture is what I will try to capture in my cake, using dark chocolate mousse, Tahitian vanilla, lemon biscuit, and various crunchy elements.” 


Delicious Dishings said...

Those cakes are stunning! I have heard of something like this before where people make cakes inspired by certain paintings or artwork. What a fun experience! I soo would have wished they were for tasting too.

Kenny J Almodovar said...

The cakes all look awesome. My favorite has to be Quark Torte. The colors remind me of the stained glass windows at the Catholic Church my parents used to take me to when I was little.

Maureen Reynolds said...

Wow, those are truly amazing cakes and what a detailed post!

Unknown said...

What a fabulous cake selection. It makes me wonder, what is the art, the stuff on the walls, or the cakes? THey are just fantastic.
*kisses* HH

Renee Comet said...

Thanks for your pix and all the info! After shooting Peter Brett's cake last week, I was sorry that I couldn't make it to the exhibit over the weekend, but, now I feel like I was there!

BlueToYou said...

my favorite was the pecan butterscotch cake. it looked so retro and space-agey!

Anonymous said...

truthfully these are very ugly cakes