Mary Sims estate

b. 1940, Jackson, TN, d. 2004, Eureka, 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.
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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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Charles Ives For Frances Gassner
Charles Ives For Frances Gassner
 Edra's Plant
Edra's Plant
Michael
Michael
Miss November
Miss November
Untitled (Two Children in a Washtub)
Untitled (Two Children in a Washtub)
 Mother In Law's Tongue
Mother In Law's Tongue
Flower Stand
Flower Stand
Untitled (Hibiscus)
Untitled (Hibiscus)
Untitled (Gray Vase)
Untitled (Gray Vase)
Untitled (Man on a Bench)
Untitled (Man on a Bench)
Ship of Fools
Ship of Fools
Noah's Family
Noah's Family
Untitled (Water Lilies)
Untitled (Water Lilies)
 Battenberg
Battenberg
Untitled Melons/Teapot
Untitled Melons/Teapot
Tulip Cracker
Tulip Cracker
Untitled (29095)
Untitled (29095)
Eros and Anteros
Eros and Anteros
Untitled (Two Lilies)
Untitled (Two Lilies)
Study for South of the Border
Study for South of the Border
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etching, 9.5x8.25
c. 1959
Charles Ives For Frances Gassner
Charles Ives For Frances Gassner
etching, 13x11.25
c. 1959
 Edra's Plant
Edra's Plant
acrylic on canvas, 66x48
c. 1970
Michael
Michael
acrylic on canvas, 71x48
c. 1970
Miss November
Miss November
acrylic on canvas, 73.75x47.75
c. 1970
Untitled (Two Children in a Washtub)
Untitled (Two Children in a Washtub)
acrylic on canvas, 60x33.5
c.1970
 Mother In Law's Tongue
Mother In Law's Tongue
acrylic on canvas, 12.5x12.5
1972
Flower Stand
Flower Stand
acrylic on canvas, 47.75x28
c. 1972
Untitled (Hibiscus)
Untitled (Hibiscus)
charcoal on canvas, 36x36
c. 1975
Untitled (Gray Vase)
Untitled (Gray Vase)
acrylic on canvas, 36x36
c. 1975
Untitled (Man on a Bench)
Untitled (Man on a Bench)
acrylic on canvas, 74x61
c. 1975
Ship of Fools
Ship of Fools
acrylic on canvas, 83x117
c. 1980
Noah's Family
Noah's Family
acrylic on canvas, 96" diameter
c. 1980
Untitled (Water Lilies)
Untitled (Water Lilies)
acrylic on canvas, 42x40
c. 1980
 Battenberg
Battenberg
charcoal on canvas, 48x48
1983
Untitled Melons/Teapot
Untitled Melons/Teapot
acrylic on canvas, 39.5x33
c. 1985
Tulip Cracker
Tulip Cracker
acrylic on canvas, 34x34
1986
Untitled (29095)
Untitled (29095)
acrylic on canvas, 43x43
c. 1986
Eros and Anteros
Eros and Anteros
acrylic on canvas, 23x22
1988
Untitled (Two Lilies)
Untitled (Two Lilies)
acrylic on canvas, 46x38
c. 1992
Study for South of the Border
Study for South of the Border
acrylic on canvas, 21x11.5
c. 1993