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Dorothea Tanning, American, 1910 - 2012

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

40 1/4 × 25 1/2 inches (102.2 × 64.8 cm) Frame: 47 3/8 × 32 3/4 × 2 1/2 inches (120.3 × 83.2 × 6.4 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 269, Modern and Contemporary Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by C. K. Williams, II, 1999

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In Birthday, Dorothea Tanning filters the dreams and desires of the Surrealist vision through a self-portrait. Yet although the likeness of the face is astonishing, the artist does more to create a character than to reveal one who already exists. The woman's exotic garb, the furry creature, and the infinite recession of doors point toward adventures that lie just off the canvas.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.