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Blessed Art Thou: Images of the Virgin Mary in the Ahmanson Collection

November 2, 2019-February 15, 2020

Blessed Art Thou: Images of the Virgin Mary in the Ahmanson Collection, features singular works by nineteen artists that engage with the subject of the Virgin Mary. The selection of images spans five centuries, and includes paintings, drawings and sculptures; the devotional sensibility of each image articulates the deep, personal journey of faith that the Ahmansons have embarked on as a couple.


Bookended by images of the Madonna and Child, with the oldest work being an oil painting by an unknown Flemish painter, and the most recent one being a contemporary, assemblage sculpture by Canadian artist, Ale Groen, each art work reveals glimpse of theological concepts of their respective eras. The placement of the works in the exhibition are organized around the most commonly depicted themes of Mary throughout art history: the Annunciation, the Pieta, the Nativity and the Crucifixion.

The Madonna and Child motif is so powerful because it simultaneously represents a universal image of motherly love and the core doctrines of the Christian faith: the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth. The diversity of these beautiful works in the Ahmanson Collection portray the ways that this reality has captured the hearts and minds of artists throughout many centuries to create powerful images of transcendence.

Collection Artists in the Exhibition:

Jose Juan Aguilar, Adrian Allinson, Petrociño Barela, Edward Burra, Marie Romero Cash, Mary Cassatt, Sir Jacob Epstein, Ale Groen, Dame Barbara Hepworth, Wiliam Kurelek, Jean-Paul Lemieux, Master Paul of Leutschau, Henry Moore, Georges Rouault, Linda Syddick, Patty Wickman, Sun Xun