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anita magsaysay-ho

Anita Magsaysay-Ho was an important and influential Philippine artist who helped to encourage and support the development of Modern Art and Neo-Realist painting in her country. Born in Manila in 1914, she went on to study at the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts with Fabian de la Rosa and acclaimed Filipino painter Fernando Amorsolo. She later traveled to the United States and was a student at both the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan and the Art Students League in New York.

Along with another celebrated Filipino artist of the Modern Art era, Vicente Manansala, she and her peers broke away in the 1950's from the constraints of the previous more conservative artistic trends. Her paintings evolved and headed more towards Modernism as she experimented with cubist distortion and a more stylized look. Throughout her life, her works frequently celebrated and were inspired by strong, beautiful Philippine women working at everyday tasks such as harvesting crops, washing clothes, and cooking meals for their families. The artist traveled extensively with her husband, Robert Ho, moved over 40 times to a variety of countries, and raised five children.

Magsaysay-Ho's artistic career was long and successful and her works earned many awards during her lifetime, including first Prize in the 1950 Manila Grand Opera House Exhibition. In 1999 one of her paintings sold for a record high price at the time for a living Filipino artist. She lived to the age of 97 and died in her birthplace, the city of Manila.

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