As we approach our Centennial in 2021, The Phillips Collection is seeking a design firm to be our partner in reimagining The Phillips Collection online at

  • We want our website to reflect who we are, creating an experience for people that is as impressive online as it is in the galleries.
  • Our top priority is to drive visitors to the museum.
  • Secondarily to encourage visitors to become members.
  • Enable visitors to clearly find what they need on the website – i.e. what art is on view, what programs will be happening during their visit, how to apply for employment, conducting research on an artist, learning about the history of the museum, or becoming a member.
  • Be welcoming and accessible to all [complies (at a minimum) with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards].
  • Visually represent the museum as a modern, relevant, bold space.
  • The museum has a rich history that stems from Duncan Phillips’s unique collecting/exhibiting philosophy but also wants to show the world that it is a living, growing, an accessible institution that organizes cutting-edge programs and collects contemporary art.

The intuitive layouts will compel users to easily dive deeper into the content.


“The Phillips Collection is an “intimate museum combined with an experiment station.”–Duncan Phillips, 1926

Opened in 1921, The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, is America’s first museum of modern art. It is an exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art in a dynamic environment for collaboration, innovation, engagement with the world, scholarship, and new forms of public participation.

Paintings by Renoir and Rothko, Bonnard and O’Keeffe, van Gogh and Diebenkorn are among the many stunning impressionist and modern works that fill the museum. Its distinctive building combines extensive new galleries with the former home of its founder, Duncan Phillips. The collection continues to develop with selective new acquisitions, many by contemporary artists, including Wolfgang Laib, Whitfield Lovell, and Zilia Sánchez.

The Phillips’s impact spreads nationally and internationally through its highly distinguished special exhibitions, programs, and events that catalyze dialogue surrounding the continuity between art of the past and the present. Among the Phillips’s esteemed programs are its award-winning education programs for educators, students, and adults; well-established Phillips Music series; and sell-out Phillips after 5 events. The museum contributes to the art conversation on a global scale with events like Conversations with Artists and the International Forum. The Phillips Collection values its community partnerships with the University of Maryland—the museum’s nexus for academic work, scholarly exchange, and interdisciplinary collaborations—and THEARC—the museum’s new campus serving the Southeast DC community. The Phillips Collection is a private, non-government museum, supported primarily by donations.

The museum has an annual visitation attendance of upwards to 150,000 people per year.

The Phillips Collection’s website will provide further background information on the museum.

Scope of Work:

The Phillips Collection website design will:

  • Highlight the museum’s exceptional art collection, exhibitions, and rich history.
  • Showcase the diverse programs and offerings for audiences of all backgrounds.
  • Be mobile responsive.
  • Reflect the mission, values, and brand identity of The Phillips Collection as a dynamic, innovative, and participatory environment.
  • Be modern, forward-thinking, functional, attractive, accessible, and easy to use.

Have strong thematic images and visually compelling user interface elements.

Visually represent the museum as a modern, relevant, bold space.

Have intuitive layouts and navigation.

Our Audience Is:

  • A website intercept survey conducted in summer 2017 for 12 days showed that 50% of visitors came to the Phillips site to look for visitor and exhibition information, 15% came to look for event information, 13% came to look browse/look at art, 4% came to conduct research, and the remainder came to look for information about membership, jobs/internships, and the gift shop. The survey also showed that we had slightly more first
  • time visitors than return visitors. The website should appropriately cater to these audiences, while also keeping top of mind our need for members and donors.
  • Potential visitors to either of our campuses (at 21st Street and our satellite campus at THEARC in SE).
  • People that are interested in modern and contemporary art, and learning about the museum and its collection.

Current technical capabilities:

  • CMS is Drupal 7.
  • There is no e-commerce capability (for our museum shop), and likely will continue to not have one as we do not have the funds or resources to keep it maintained.
  • There are links to Altru (Blackbaud) where people buy admission/ program tickets.
  • Linked to our collection database/export in MIMSY refreshed nightly.
  • There is a link to the blog in the secondary navigation. The latest blog post is also featured on the homepage. The blog uses WordPress.
  • The search function uses Adobe Search and Promote to search across web resources (website, collection database, blog, and library catalogue) for results.
  • Integrated with the ADP portal for employment and internship opportunities.
  • Feed the Phillips app with collections database exported nightly.
  • There are links to Outbound for groups and schools to book tours.

Due Date:

September 30,

Address: and

Agencies worth considering include Small Girls PR and Shift Communications.

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