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Unicorns Came Down to the Sea

Kay Sage Tanguy, American, 1898 - 1963

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

36 1/4 × 28 1/4 inches (92.1 × 71.8 cm) Framed: 43 3/4 × 35 7/8 × 2 1/4 inches (111.1 × 91.1 × 5.7 cm)

Research inconclusive. Copyright may apply.

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 269, Modern and Contemporary Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Bequest of Kay Sage Tanguy, 1964

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Kay Sage spent most of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe. Upon her arrival in Paris in 1937, she joined the Surrealist movement and met her future husband, artist Yves Tanguy (American (born France), 1900 - 1955). But it was back home in the United States, during the 1940s, that she produced her strongest work. In Unicorns Came Down to the Sea an enigmatic landscape is seen obliquely from a large window with drapery of muted reds, yellows, and blues hanging from a scaffolded archway. Though the gradated background of the painting evokes her husband’s neither-sky-nor-sea landscapes, Sage’s characteristically precise architectural structures signal an entirely new addition to Surrealism’s imaginary built environment.

* 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.