Acquired by American Legacy Fine Arts directly from the artist
Mian Situ’s wife, Gloria, modeled for this exquisite narrative oil painting depicting a demure and beautiful young Chinese woman wearing a traditional embroidered red silk wedding dress. Although raised during China’s severe Cultural Revolution in the southeast province of Guongdong (formerly Canton), the artist hearkens back to his ancestral roots with The Heiress’s Closet. Here, Situ shows the bride with her dowry of typical and auspicious gifts, including a sewing basket and a wardrobe cabinet, both essential items for a successful home. The wedding cabinet is painted with symbolic motifs, including golden butterflies, representing personal transformation and eternal life, and flowers, symbolizing beauty and joy. Based on the type of kerosene lamp, one may speculate that the scene takes place in the American West sometime between the 1850s and 1880s. In Chinese culture, a bedside lamp symbolizes future sons.
“Masters of the American West” – Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, California, February 10–March 25, 2018