In a dim room, two women are comforting a woman who looks distressed. While another woman is looking outside whilst standing in between the threshold.
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum; Front Room, 2022; Gift of funds from Mary and Bob Mersky

New to Mia

New to Mia

Our collection keeps growing as the world keeps changing. Whether it’s a masterpiece by a celebrated artist, a contemporary work that speaks to our times, or the creation of someone whose talents were previously overlooked, Mia collects artworks that reflect the full breadth of human creativity. Learn more about Mia’s collections practice here.

 

This just in!

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum

Botswanan (active Canada), born 1980

Front Room, 2022

Oil and pencil on linen

Gift of funds from Mary and Bob Mersky

This mixed-media painting features Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum’s alter-ego Asme (“as me”) seated in a domestic interior accompanied by three other women. Two of the women hold Asme’s hands, offering comfort and assurance. Sunstrum’s composition references French painter Auguste Toulmouche’s The Hesitant Fiancée (1866), but whereas his bride-to-be reveals momentary doubt, Asme expresses barely restrained rage, a defiant reaction to her realization of powerlessness over social and cultural expectations that frequently regulate women’s roles, behavior, or appearance.

Vassily Kandinsky

Russian, 1866–1944

Rapallo-Bagni Louisa, 1906

Oil on cardboard

Gift of Harriet and Walter Pratt

In 1906, Vassily Kandinsky and his lover, the painter Gabrielle Münter, spent some months along the Italian Riviera making sketches, paintings, and photographs of the surrounding landscape. In this painting, Kandinsky captures the coastal town of Rapallo-Bagni, laying down color with a palette knife in quick, expressionistic strokes. This painting is one part of a remarkable gift made by Harriet and Walter Pratt, featuring European and American artists shaking up conventional notions of art in the early 1900s.

Fritz Scholder

American (Luiseño), 1937–2005

Unfinished Dancer, 1979

Oil on canvas

Gift of the Herfurth family

Fritz Scholder is one of the most influential Native American painters of the twentieth century. Raised in Minnesota, Scholder spent most of his life in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he painted and taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts. This monumental painting, nearly seven-by-six feet, exhibits his signature style of an individual figure within an abstracted space.

Attributed to Purkhu

Indian, active c. 1780–1820s

Arjuna Confronted by a Wild Boar, Illustration from a Kirata Arjuniya series, Kangra, c. 1820

Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper

The John R. Van Derlip Trust Fund and Gift of funds from Linda and Ken Cutler

This scene is inspired by the epic Mahabharata, illustrating a moment in which a demigod competes with a deity and, by demonstrating valor and humility, receives a great boon. Seeking powerful weapons from the gods, the hero warrior Arjuna, lower right, is shown engaging in prayer and ritual to please them. The demon Mukasara, disguised as a wild boar, erupts from the landscape to distract Arjuna from his activity. Arjuna shoots the boar, but so does Lord Shiva, who appears as a hunter with a retinue of celestial beings. An argument ensues over who shot the boar first, leading to battle. Arjuna cedes to Shiva, who repays him with an all-powerful weapon.

Seymour Lipton

American, 1903–1986

Visionary, c. 1980

Nickel-silver on Montel metal

Gift of Alan and Michael Lipton

Seymour Lipton is among the most renowned sculptors of his generation. An innovator of form and process, he created abstracted works that always had a reference point in storytelling or the natural world. His titles often provide clues. “Visionary” suggests someone who can see or imagine a future. The dome-like structure to the top of the sculpture implies a skull or head, and the pipe-like form suggests a telescope or an eye. A provocative example of his late work, Visionary shows all of Lipton’s talents coming together. It has scale, power, and formal imagination, and it suggests the image of a guardian, oracle, or watcher.

Jean Eugène Buland

French, 1852–1926

Washerwomen’s Lunch, 1900

Oil on canvas

Gift of Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison

In the 1880s, Jean-Eugène Buland decided to forgo the classical and historical subjects of his training, turning instead to scenes of everyday life in the French countryside. But rather than depicting his subjects engaged in labor, he often focused on quiet moments of rest, like this painting of washerwomen breaking for lunch in the afternoon sun. Buland often used the new medium of photography to create his hyper-realistic paintings. He executed the sunlit scene with loose brushstrokes, yet the surfaces of the forms—textiles, hair, flesh, wood, glass, dirt—are rendered with startling intensity.

Dong Qichang

Chinese, 1555–1636

Two poems in running script, 1622

Hanging scroll, ink on paper

Gift of Mark Pratt

In written Chinese, each word is represented by its own unique symbol, presenting rich opportunities to combine visual aesthetics with linguistic meaning. In fact, calligraphy, literally “beautiful writing,” was the visual art form prized above all others in traditional China. Dong Qichang, who brushed these characters, was among the finest artists of the late Ming period and a great theorist whose ideas influenced Chinese aesthetic thought for centuries. Dong’s works are part of a large collection assembled over a lifetime by Mark S. Pratt, and recently given to Mia. As a U.S. diplomat to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Republic of China, Pratt encountered many living painters and calligraphers who helped him acquire works by historical masters.

Past Highlights

Winfred Rembert

American, 1945-2021

The Beginning, May, 2002

Dye on carved and tooled leather

Gift of funds from Mary and Bob Mersky

This scene shows the artist’s imaginative recreation of an important moment in his life. At three months his birth mother made the decision to turn him over to the care of her sister, Lillian Rembert, who holds out her hands to receive the child. She raised the artist, Winfred, as her own child. The artist based this scene on stories told in his family and also brought his keen eye and talent for character building and narrative to bear on this emotionally charged moment.

Albrect Dürer

German, 1471-1549

Samson and the Lion, c. 1497-98

Woodcut

The Barbara S. Longfellow Endowed Acquisition Fund and the John E. and Marion Andrus III Fund in Support of the Department of Prints and Drawings

Mia has a substantial but uneven collection of prints by Albrecht Dürer, and over the past decade, we have been working to improve our holdings with acquisitions such as Samson and the Lion. The arresting, engaging image combines Dürer’s graphic power with a Bible story of ferocious fairytale charm, which is briefly told in the Bible (Judges 14:5-6):

Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat.

Fukuoka Ichimonji Kagenor

Japanese, second half 13th century

Straight sword (tachi), ca. 1280

Steel; wood, lacquer, silk, cotton, etc.

The Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund established by the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation

This sword is exceptionally rare because of its greater age and its completely unaltered state: despite having many owners, it was never cut down or otherwise modified. The blade, with its clear, reflective surface and scalloped-pattern tempered line, speaks to what a master smith can create from high-quality steel. Based on the signature, we can attribute this blade to Fukuoka Ichimonji Kagenori, an associate of the Ichimonji School. Considered one of the most important schools of Japanese sword production, it was founded during the Kamakura Period (1185–1333) and was active through the following Nanbokuchō Period (1333–1392).

Fernando Gallego

Spanish (Castile), c. 1440/45–1507

The Virgin and Child with Saint Andrew, Saint Eustace, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Catherine, c. 1470-1480

Oil and gilding on panel

The John R. Van Derlip Trust Fund

Ferdinando Gallego was one of the leading painters in late-1400s Castile, experimenting with Flemish pictorial sources and manners to forge highly original styles and create inventive works. Here, Gallego depicts the Virgin Mary holding the infant Christ on her lap, meeting his cheerful gaze with downcast eyes. Her somber mood seems to foresee the Crucifixion, as does the child’s gesture, revealing the places where his body would be wounded in the crucifixion. Saints Eustace, Andrew, John the Baptist, and Catherine are exquisitely painted in grisaille, which gives the illusion that they are carved of stone.

Unknown Chinese maker

18th Century

Censer in the shape of a mythical beast, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736-1795)

Gilt bronze, gemstone inlays

The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Trust Fund

This censer is shaped like a Luduan, an auspicious, mythical beast made up from features of different animals, like lions, tigers, and dragons. Throughout history, it was believed to have mythical, protective powers. Exquisitely produced and inlaid with precious stones, this censer was clearly meant for imperial use. It would have been an important element of an imperial throne-setting, acting as a guardian figure for the monarch. When incense was burned within, the smoke would emerge from the Luduan’s open mouth.

Unknown Japanese artist

Sail boats on Yodo River in Fushimi / Pair of 6-panel folding screens, around 1600 (restored in 1672)

Ink and color on gilded paper

The Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund established by the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation

The artist who created these screens performed a design feat in that the composition is continuous across screens regardless of the order in which they are arranged. The pair could even be arranged in a circle for a person to sit in the middle and enjoy the continuous scene. The subject is the Yodo River, an important thoroughfare connecting Kyoto with Osaka, but no humans are depicted in this remarkably abstract view. Bamboo, clouds, mountains, and sail boats are the only elements, depicted in a limited palette of gold, blue, and green.

George Tooker

American, 1920-2011

The Artist’s Daughter, 1955

Egg tempera on gessoed panel

The Sheila C. and John L. Morgan Endowment for Art Acquisition and the Mary Ingebrand-Pohlad Endowment for Twentieth Century Paintings

George Tooker is among the most important American figure and narrative painters of the twentieth century. After a brief stint in the Marines, he became part of a broad circle of queer artists, writers, musicians, photographers, dancers, and curators in New York. This subject and its specific treatment are unique in Tooker’s career: a young girl peers out with large curious eyes from behind a thriving plant. Who is she? Not the artist’s daughter, as the title claims. Tooker did not have any children and the title was teasingly suggested by a friend due to a vague resemblance to the artist himself.

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum; Front Room, 2022; Gift of funds from Mary and Bob Mersky