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Anita Magsaysay-Ho, pillar of Filipino modernist art, passes away at age 97

Anita Magsaysay-Ho from Kulay Diwa Gallery. Photo source:
The online news portal of TV5

Painter Anita Magsaysay-Ho, one of the most important and gifted Philippine modernists, passed away Saturday morning, at the age of 97.

Magsaysay-Ho won awards in several local and international art competitions and exhibited works in major local and international art galleries worldwide. Her well-known works depict figurative abstracts of women at work, landscapes, and Philippine genre scenes. Her charcoal sketches of female nudes are also widely recognized. Collections of Magsaysay-Ho's works can be viewed in major museums and galleries such as the Metropolitan Museum of the Philippines, the Yuchengco Museum, the Lopez Memorial Museum and Library, and the Ateneo Art Museum.     

Latest photo of Anita Magsaysay Ho from Kulay Diwa Gallery. Photo source:

Anita Magsaysay-Ho was born in 1914 and studied painting at the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts under prominent artist-teachers such as Fabian Dela Rosa, Fernando Amorsolo and Irineo Miranda, according to the book, "Anita Magsaysay-Ho: A Restrospective". It adds: "She graduated in 1933 then went to continue her studies at the Art Students League in New York and at the Cranbrook Academy of Arts in Michigan. She was identified with the emerging Modernists, the only woman among the 13 new young talents who challenged the conservative school in the the 1950s."

"Night Market" by painter Anita Magsaysay Ho. Photo from

In 2008, Magsaysay-Ho paved the way for Filipino artists to gain higher international recognition when a small painting of hers titled "In the Market Place" broke price records at a Christie's auction in Singapore, going for US$375,000 (about P15 million).

Her body was cremated on Saturday morning. Friends and members of the public can pay their final respects at the Kapilya De la Virgen at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City starting Saturday evening.

"Lavandera" or "Laundry Women" by Anita Magsaysay Ho. Photo from