Mary Sims estate

b. 1940, Jackson, TN, d. 2004, Eureka Springs, AR
I think that I’m not able to accept the mystery of a blurred area and go into the poetry of 'it will always keep me earthbound.' I’m always going to be, you know, a fact finder, but that’s one of those things you just cannot fret over.
Old Glory
Old Glory

Mary Sims is celebrated for extraordinary, stylized oil paintings based on both real and invented environments. She worked daily in her studio, and over the course of her lifelong career, produced an array of intricate landscapes, whimsical still-lifes, captivating portraits and spectacular narrative scenes. Recognized not only for her elegant composition of flat forms, juxtapositions of symbol and content, affinity for texture and detail and flawless final execution, her perceptive intelligence and wild spirit distinguished her legacy. Inspired by classical history, mythology and Biblical stories, Sims’ methodical process for many of her works entangled friends, family and imagery from memories and dreams into her own subversions of history painting. Her meticulously constructed settings, which she arranged, then photographed, featured casts of costumed characters and were abundant with flowers, fabrics, decorative objects and ironic details. Sims placed particular attention on her subjects’ eyes as the representations of their souls. With astonishing scale and stunning use of color, her works produce a hypnotic effect on viewers, linking their present experience to a more mystical past.

Mary Sims was considered a Memphis painter although she lived and worked in Eureka Springs, Arkansas for the majority of her life. She was the first woman accepted into the printmaking department at the University of Iowa, where she received a BFA. She did further studies in Rome and then received her MFA from Tulane University. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she taught art at Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College). Her work was frequently exhibited in the region and far beyond, including at her long-term dealers in Houston, Tulsa, Los Angeles and New York. Her work is in the collections of major private and public collections including John Grisham, Mary Tyler Moore and Burt Reynolds, as well as the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock; The Assisi Foundation, Memphis; First Tennessee Bank, Memphis; the Kemper Collection, Kansas City; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson; nexAir, Memphis; Rhodes College, Memphis; and the Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, among others.

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Old Glory
Old Glory
Midnight Rambler
Midnight Rambler
Another Birthday Alone
Another Birthday Alone
Samovar and Tomatoes
Samovar and Tomatoes
Olive Oil and Orchids
Olive Oil and Orchids
Still LIfe with Flowers
Still LIfe with Flowers
Study in Red
Study in Red
Untitled (Amaryllis)
Untitled (Amaryllis)
Untitled (monkeys and marching band)
Untitled (monkeys and marching band)
Lady Tiny's Mixed Bouquet
Lady Tiny's Mixed Bouquet
The Rascal Monks
The Rascal Monks
Red Hop Stuff
Red Hop Stuff
Untitled (still life with flag fan)
Untitled (still life with flag fan)
Untitled (Red Bench)
Untitled (Red Bench)
Untitled (Mandolin and Japanese Magnolias)
Untitled (Mandolin and Japanese Magnolias)
Untitled irises in grey vase
Untitled irises in grey vase
Untitled pink & rose irises in vase
Untitled pink & rose irises in vase
Untitled morning glories on fence
Untitled morning glories on fence
Untitled yellow pitcher
Untitled yellow pitcher
Untitled man on park bench
Untitled man on park bench
Untitled (Daniel on chair on blue)
Untitled (Daniel on chair on blue)
Untitled (Yellow Gladiolus)
Untitled (Yellow Gladiolus)
Untitled (purple flowers on orange)
Untitled (purple flowers on orange)
Untitled (white flowers in blue vase)
Untitled (white flowers in blue vase)
Self Portrait
Self Portrait
Untitled (Portrait of Shelly Shelton)
Untitled (Portrait of Shelly Shelton)
Old Glory
Old Glory
acrylic on canvas, 20x16
Midnight Rambler
Midnight Rambler
acrylic on canvas, 56x54
1997
Another Birthday Alone
Another Birthday Alone
acrylic on canvas, 25x21.75
c. 1988
Samovar and Tomatoes
Samovar and Tomatoes
acrylic on canvas, 40x40
c. 1997
Olive Oil and Orchids
Olive Oil and Orchids
acrylic on canvas, 50.25x50.75
1983
Still LIfe with Flowers
Still LIfe with Flowers
acrylic on canvas, 36x36
c. 1985
Study in Red
Study in Red
acrylic on canvas, 36x39.5
c. 1990
Untitled (Amaryllis)
Untitled (Amaryllis)
acrylic on canvas, 44x43.5
c. 1985
Untitled (monkeys and marching band)
Untitled (monkeys and marching band)
acrylic on canvas, 22x19
c. 1985
Lady Tiny's Mixed Bouquet
Lady Tiny's Mixed Bouquet
acrylic on canvas, 44.75x42.25
1998
The Rascal Monks
The Rascal Monks
acrylic on canvas, 71x42
1995
Red Hop Stuff
Red Hop Stuff
acrylic on canvas, 28x42
x. 1988
Untitled (still life with flag fan)
Untitled (still life with flag fan)
acrylic on canvas, 26.5x26.5
c. 1980
Untitled (Red Bench)
Untitled (Red Bench)
acrylic on canvas, 60x72
c. 1985
Untitled (Mandolin and Japanese Magnolias)
Untitled (Mandolin and Japanese Magnolias)
acrylic on canvas, 37x48
c. 1965
Untitled irises in grey vase
Untitled irises in grey vase
acrylic on canvas, 36x36
c. 1972
Untitled pink & rose irises in vase
Untitled pink & rose irises in vase
acrylic on canvas, 36x36
c. 1972
Untitled morning glories on fence
Untitled morning glories on fence
acrylic on canvas, 48x60
c. 1975
Untitled yellow pitcher
Untitled yellow pitcher
acrylic on canvas, 24x24
c. 1970
Untitled man on park bench
Untitled man on park bench
acrylic on canvas, 72x57.25
c. 1975
Untitled (Daniel on chair on blue)
Untitled (Daniel on chair on blue)
acrylic on canvas, 46x46
c. 1975
Untitled (Yellow Gladiolus)
Untitled (Yellow Gladiolus)
acrylic on canvas, 38x36
c. 1975
Untitled (purple flowers on orange)
Untitled (purple flowers on orange)
acryic on canvas, 26x26
c. 1970
Untitled (white flowers in blue vase)
Untitled (white flowers in blue vase)
acrylic on canvas, 10x8
c. 1985
Self Portrait
Self Portrait
etching, 12x10
c. 1965
Untitled (Portrait of Shelly Shelton)
Untitled (Portrait of Shelly Shelton)
acrylic on canvas, 60x48
c. 1980

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