The Winterthur Library

 The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE  19735

302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883





Creator:         Phillips, Marjorie, 1895-1985                                               

Title:               Collection

Dates:             1897-1984.

Call No.:         Col. 632

Acc. No.:        01x75

Quantity:        98 items

Location:        3 L 1, 3 L 6, map case 2, drawer 5






Marjorie Grant Acker (later Phillips) was born in Indiana on October 25, 1895, to Alice Beal and Charles Ernest Acker.  She grew up in New Jersey and New York. Marjorie had several relatives on her mother’s side who were artists, including Gifford Beal, and she started to draw and paint while still a small child.  Around 1917, Marjorie began studying at the Art Students League in New York City.  In 1921, Marjorie attended a party in New York where she met Duncan Phillips, the founder of the Phillips Memorial Gallery.


Duncan Phillips was born in Pittsburgh in 1886, the son of Eliza Irwin Laughlin and Major Duncan Clinch Phillips; in 1896, the family moved to Washington, D.C.  After the deaths of his father and his brother James, the younger Duncan and his mother decided to open two rooms in their home on 21st Street as the Phillips Memorial Gallery. 


Duncan Phillips and Marjorie Acker married in 1921, and she moved into the Phillips home in Washington, D.C., living with his mother and the Memorial Gallery (today known as the Phillips Collection).  After marriage, Marjorie continued to paint and became associate director of her husband’s museum.  With him, she enjoyed traveling and collecting art.  After Duncan’s death in 1966, she became the museum’s director, retiring from that position in 1972.  In 1930, the Phillips family moved into a new home on Foxhall Road in Washington.  They called the new house “Dunmarlin,” a combination of their names, plus that of their children Mary Marjorie and Laughlin.  They also had a summer home in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania.  Marjorie Acker Phillips died on June 19, 1985.





Collection of papers and photographs relating to “Dunmarlin,” the home of Marjorie and Duncan Phillips, in Washington, D.C., as well as photographs of their summer home in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, and some personal papers.  Highlights of the collection include four colored sketches of fireplace equipment done by Lally-Rohlander Co., Inc.; colored drawings of  room layouts for a ladies dressing room and a formal living room, showing how each wall would look, plus a colored sketch of the furniture layout in the living room; a picture of one wing of Dunmarlin painted by Gifford Beal (uncle of Marjorie Phillips); blueprints for landscaping plans, a basement play room, and plans for a garage; a drawing for a light fixture, possibly a porch light, done by Horn & Drannen Mfg. Co.; and a drawing of a colonial revival home, not “Dunmarlin,” but no indication of who did the drawing, when it was done, or where the house was located.  As well, the collection includes an inventory of the estate of Eliza Irwin Laughlin Phillips (Duncan’s mother); a partial inventory of Marjorie Phillips’ estate; part of a script for a tour of “Dunmarlin”; some correspondence and bills of Major and Mrs. Phillips, as well as of Marjorie and Duncan Phillips; a few advertising brochures for furniture, silver, and other products; and fabric and wallpaper samples.  Also in the collection is a photograph of a wedding being held in a garden, perhaps in Florida, circa 1905.





The items are in accession number order, mostly arranged by size.





The materials are in English.





Collection is open to the public.  Copyright restrictions may apply.





Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Laughlin Phillips.






                        Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966.




            Electric lighting - Pictorial works.

Fireplaces - Equipment and supplies - Pictorial works.

            Interior decoration - Washington (D.C.)

            Inventories of decedents’ estates -Washington (D.C.)

Textile fabrics - Specimens.

            Wallpaper - Specimens.

            Weddings – Photographs.


Dunmarlin (Estate : Washington, D.C.)











Location: 3 L 1, 3 L 6, map case 2, drawer 5



Box 1:


Folder 1:         Drawing of furniture layout, probably for a living room or family room

(acc. 01x75.1)


Folder 2:         Part of tour script – introduction, hallway, and beginning of dining room; the script talks about paintings, not about furnishings (one typed page) (acc. 01x75.2)


Folder 3:         Bills & correspondence about decorating Dunmarlin (acc. 01x75.3-.7)


.3         letter from Miriam Smyth of Smyth, Urquhart & Marckwald, Inc., New York City, about sending fringe samples, Dec. 29, 1947; fringe samples no longer with letter; includes a sketch of some sort (later addition to letter)


.4         W. & J. Sloane invoice for fabrics, curtains, mahogany chest, April 1953


.5         Biggs Antique Co., Inc., Richmond and Washington, invoice for 2 oval end tables, 1 bookshelf, all Hepplewhite in style, Feb. 27, 1954


.6         Biggs Antique Co., Inc., Richmond and Washington, invoice for a china lamp, Feb. 27, 1954


.7         Handwritten note from Knoll Associates, D.C., about Saarinen chairs, sofas, ottoman (gives model numbers, prices, some dimensions), no date

            [see also 01x17.19b]


Folder 4:         Partial inventories of Marjorie Acker Phillips (acc. 01x75.8-.10)


                        .8a-d    Weschler’s appraisal of jewelry, April 10, 1984;


                        .9a-d    Weschler’s appraisal of jewelry, April 8, 1985; includes different pieces from those listed in the other jewelry appraisal


                        .10a-d  Schedule B for Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Probate Division, listing oil paintings, drawings, watercolors, and other pieces of art, Oct. 21, 1985


Folder 5:         Advertising brochures (acc. 01x75.11-.21)


                        .11       Notice of sale from Capt. J.R. DeLamar’s estate, 1919

                        .12       Gifford Beal show at Kraushaar Galleries, 1945

                        .13       Mrs. J.L. Dulany, lingerie and boudoir specialties (card)

.14       Frigidaire, possibly 1930s

                        .15       Haley’s Packard; on reverse: calendar for June 1949 and name of Duncan Phillips printed on the card

                        .16a-b  Heritage Henredon furniture, “Circa ‘60” line (2 copies)

                        .17       House of Fabrics, Inc., Georgetown, DC (card, with notes on back)

.18       Kirk sterling silver, brochure from Galt & Bro., Inc., Washington, DC

                        .19a-c  Knoll Associates, Desks, Offices, with notes about chests and desks (possibly a continuation of the note above, acc. 01x75.7), and a business card for Knoll Associates

                        .20       Paddock Swimming Pool Equipment, 1954

                        .21       W. & J. Sloane, Wunda carpets, 1950s



Folder 6:         Correspondence (acc. 01x75.22-24)


.22a-t   letter from Edgar V. Seeler, Philadelphia, to aunt Lidie (Mrs. D. C. Phillips), with small photos of exterior of “Zellwood house” [Zellwood is in Orange County, Florida], postmarked March 28, 1906

                        .23       letter from Archibald Brown, of Peabody, Wilson, & Brown, architects, New York City, Oct. 23, 1919, to Mr. Phillips, needs confirmation of lease of building in New York City, with envelope

                        .24       Handwritten note listing names, headed “Letters to write”


Folder 7:         Bills to Mr. or Mrs. Phillips (acc. 01x75.25-.38)


                        .25       Royal Furniture Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., Oct. 15, 1897, for tables, brass bed, etc.

                        .26       Ferdinand Keller, antiques and artistic furniture, Philadelphia, Jan. 29, 1902, for various pieces of furniture, fabric, silver jug and flowerpot, scissors, match boxes

                        .27       J.M. Smith, imported gowns, New York City, a dress, 191-

                        .28       Arthur Burt Co., footwear, Washington, D.C., for patent leather pumps, Dec. 28, 1912

                        .29       Eleanor A. Evans, milliner, Washington, D.C., for hats and trimming, Jan. 9, 1914

                        .30       John Wanamaker, New York City, for ties, desk, chair, Nov. 1912

                        .31       B. Altman & Co., New York City, for various articles of clothing (gowns, shawl, corset covers, chemises, skirts, jackets, sweater, gloves, a “sunfast”), Oct. 31, 1916

                        .32       Revillon Freres, furs, New York City, for black fox set, Oct. 8, 1917

                        .33       Saks & Co., Washington, D.C., for chauffeur’s cap, duster, May 30, 1918, with envelope

                        .34       W. B. Moses & Sons, furniture, Washington, D.C., for ivory chiff. and making slip covers, May 31, 1918

                        .35       Crocker, “Mourning Specialty House,” New York City, for hat and veil, Oct. 2, 1918

                        .36       English Antique Company, New York City, for glass vases, Oct. 10, 1918, with envelope

                        .37       Saks & Co, Washington, D.C., paid on account, Jan. 30, 1920

                        .38       Emile, Inc., Maison Francaise, beauty salon, Turkish baths, Chanel perfumes, etc., Washington, D.C., paid on account, Jan. 1, 1928, with envelope



Folder 8:         Inventory of estate of Eliza Irwin Laughlin Phillips (acc. 01x75.39a-b)


                        .39a     Inventory of money and debts due to deceased, 193-

                        .39b     30 page inventory of estate, listed by room, including lace, furniture, carpets, silver, jewelry, but mostly stocks and bonds, Jan. 31, 1931



Folder 9:         Photos of Dunmarlin (acc. 01x75.40-48)


                        .40-.44             5 exterior photos, on e in color, one clipped from a newspaper, one taken as the house neared completion but before landscaping was finished, and one with a dog in front of the house

                        .45       3 people with dogs, seated in a room (the people are presumably Marjorie and Duncan Phillips and son Laughlin)

                        .46       Woman on portico, presumably Marjorie Phillips

                        .47       Woman and man on portico, presumably Mr. and Mrs. Phillips

                        .48       4 people and dogs on portico, presumably Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, son Laughlin, and an unknown woman


Folder 10:       Photos (acc. 01x75.49-.54)


                        .49       photo postcard, steps to a portico, part of lawn, river in distance; addressed to Mrs. Chas. E. Acker, Ithaca, N.Y.; this photo may be the of the Acker home in Ossining, N.Y.

                        .50       chairs on a lawn

                        .51       mahogany serpentine chest with writing slide, offered for sale by Syrie Maugham, Inc., New York City

                        .52       one of a pair of Hepplewhite bookcases, offered for sale by Ruth Collins, New York city

                        .53       floor lamp, stock number 5187, offered by Kantack & Co., Inc., New York City

                        .54       5 elderly ladies, all wearing hats, seated in parlor or library, no identification, photo taken by Southall


Folder 11:       Photos of summer home in Ebensburg, PA, and unidentified homes, late 19th century (acc. 01x75.55-.65)


.55-58  exterior of one home; .58  depicts a pony cart filled with hay in front of the house

.59       exterior of a different home

.60       exterior of a third home

.61-.63 exterior of a fourth home; .62 shows a horse-drawn cart with two boys in it; .63 shows a boy with a small wheelbarrow

.64       woman and 3 children sitting on porch

.65       river ferry


Folder 12:       Photos of summer home in Ebensburg, PA (acc. 01x75.66-.71)


                        .66-.71             6 photos of exterior, taken at 2 different times, probably 1930s and 1940s (same house as in .55-.58, but has been slightly remodeled)




Box 2:


Folder 1:         .72       Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Phillips on portico of their home, from a Washington area newspaper, in color


Folder 2:         Photographs (acc. 01x75.73-.74)


.73       garden wedding, possibly in Florida, circa 1905;

.74       Marjorie Phillips and son Laughlin (while a young boy), outside Dunmarlin


Folder 3:         .75       Gifford Beal drawing of exterior corner of house, signed “Gifford Beal to Marjorie”

[Gifford Beal was Marjorie Phillips’ uncle]


Folder 4:         Color drawings of room walls (acc. 01x75.76-.77)


.76       living room, including layout of furniture [see also .1]

.77       ladies’ dressing room


Folder 5:         Drawings of fireplace equipment (screens, andirons, tools), in color (acc. 01x75.78-.81)


                        .78       dining room, “wrot iron and old English brass,” with measurements, from Lally-Rohlader Co., Inc., Washington, D.C.

                        .79       living room, “Roman or antique gold finish, Adams design,” with measurements, from Lally-Rohlader Co., Inc., Washington, D.C.

                        .80       chamber, “wrot iron and old English brass,” with measurements, from Lally-Rohlader Co., Inc., Washington, D.C.

                        .81       studio, “wrot iron and old English brass,” with measurements, from The Tile and Mantel Shop (Lally-Rohlader Co., Inc.), Washington, D.C.


Folder 6:         Wallpaper samples (acc. 01x75.82-.85)


                        .82       plaid pattern, for Mrs. Phillip’s room and guest room, which are to have a plain crème ceiling

                        .83       solid pale green, for Laughlin’s room and hall

                        .84       textured pattern for studio

                        .85       similar to .84, not labeled


Folder 7:         Fabric samples (acc. 01x75.86-.88)


                        .86       “Mosaic,” number K290/20, persimmon on sand, rayon shantung, from Knoll Associates, with label

                        .87       cream colored fabric, in envelope labeled “sample of curtain, Wm. E. Clark”

                        .88       blue, coral, and green checked pattern


Folder 8:         Elsie Cobb Wilson Inc., Interiors and Antiques, New York and Washington, Architectural Catalog, November 1924 (shows interiors of other homes) (acc. 01x75.89)


Folder 9:         Drawing of unidentified house in Colonial Revival style (acc. 01x75.90)



Map case 2, drawer 5:


.91       Map of earth fill and driveway, Foxhall Road, no date


.92       Design of lantern-style light fixture, by Horn & Brannen Mfg. Co., with scale and price, for “Dunmarlin”


.93-.95             3 blueprints of garages: 1 for 4 cars; 2 for 6 cars


.96       Blueprint:  part of basement plan, showing play room, Dec. 1936


.97       Blueprint: grounds, showing alternate site for garage, Feb. 20, 1930; plan shows placement of residence, drying yard, and orchard, from Charles Downing Lay, Landscape Architect, New York City


.98       Blueprint: future grading plan, Nov. 21, 1928, shows placement of residence, gardenm, pool, arbor, orchard, drying yard, service court, from Charles Downing Lay, Landscape Architect, New York City