Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Chinese Orchid for Spring (detail), ca. 1951-58. Gift of the artist, 2006.170.1
Five Watercolors by Madame Chiang Kai-shek
Oct 19, 2011 - Feb 26, 2012

Soong May-ling (1898-2003) graduated from Wellesley College as a Durant Scholar in 1917, with a major in English literature and a minor in philosophy. She married Chiang Kai-shek in 1927.

Madame Chiang began to paint in 1951 and quickly distinguished herself as a gifted pupil. A 1952 feature on her watercolors in Life magazine proclaimed her “aptitude far greater than that of most amateurs.” Madame Chiang made a gift of five paintings to Wellesley in 1958, during her third post-graduation campus visit. A ceremony in the sculpture court of the newly built Jewett Arts Center celebrated the occasion. The paintings, recently transferred from the Wellesley College archives, have never before been on view at the Davis.