back bounded-next cafe calendar-large calendar cart close coat-check collapse donate download elevators expand explore filter grid-view hamburger heart hours join link list-view location mail more next nursing-room phone print programs ramp restrooms right-arrow search share shop thumbs-down thumbs-up tickets up toilet heart-filled zoom Skip to Content

Sally with Skull

American Art

Search and Share Tools

Sally with Skull

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Milton Avery
American, 1885–1965

Date

1946

Medium

Oil on canvas

Accession #

2012.50

Dimensions

33 x 26 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 301

Description

Completed upon Avery’s return from a summer in Mexico, Sally with Skull is a portrait of the artist’s wife conspicuously seated next to a blooming plant and a human skull. Avery’s interest in Mexican culture began in 1940 after the exhibition Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art debuted at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sally with Skull reflects Avery’s continued fascination with Mexico’s native art traditions and penchant for saturated color. The inclusion of a skull in this painting recalls the centuries-old tradition of memento mori—a reminder of human mortality—and starkly contrasts with the thriving plant depicted in full bloom.

Credit

Purchase with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable and the Margaret and Terry Stent Endowment for the Acquisition of American Art

Your Museum is open! Reserve your TIMED TICKETS now!