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Gifford Phillips, 1918-2013: Political activist, art collector had deep ties in Santa Fe

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 9:00 pm | Updated: 10:32 pm, Thu Apr 18, 2013.

Gifford Phillips, a liberal political activist and avid art collector who had lived in Santa Fe part-time since 1968 and full-time since 1990, died Wednesday in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 94.

“Art is no longer the exclusive province of mugwumps in New England studios, Bohemian painters in Greenwich Village, professors of English at Ivy League universities, or scions of old families gracing the boards of civic symphonies and art museums,” he wrote in a 1966 paper urging President Lyndon Johnson to create the National Endowment for the Arts. “The great American middle of the midtwentieth century has arrived on the scene in full strength and ready for action.”

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