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African American Fine Art Auction 12/06/2014

Tyler Fine Art is an important resource for both buying and selling quality works of art in the following categories: African-American, American Modernism, American Scene, Regionalist works from Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, Early Modernism and Abstraction, Magic Realism, and Surrealism. Tyler Fine Art is owned and operated by Thom and Jim Pegg. The Pegg brothers have operated a gallery in St Louis for over 25 years. Thom Pegg acted as painting specialist for the Treadway-Toomey 20th Century Auction in Chicago for 12 years, and as the Director of 20th Century Art & Design for Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas. He is currently the Specialist-in-Charge of the African American Art Auction at Treadway-Toomey in Chicago. The gallery buys and sells privately as well as offers artwork on consignment through auction. Tyler Fine Art is located at 1123 Locust St., St. Louis, MO, 63101. 314.727.6249

Artists Terry Adkins 6 Charles Alston 8 Casper Banjo 10 Anthony Barboza 12 Richmond BarthĂŠ 14 Phoebe Beasley 16 John Thomas Biggers 18 Sylvester Britton 20 Selma Burke 22 Margaret Burroughs 24 Allen D. Carter 26 William Sylvester Carter 30 Elizabeth Catlett 34 Nick Cave 40 Ralph ChessĂŠ 42 Claude Clark 44 Ernest Crichlow 46 Charles Criner 48 Abraham Lincoln Criss 50

Bruce A. Davenport, Jr. 52 Beauford Delaney 54 Joseph Delaney 58 Louis Delsarte 62 James Denmark 64 Walter Ellison 66 Herbert Gentry 70 Sam Gilliam 72 John Wesley Hardrick 74 Charles Teenie Harris 78 Darnell Harris 80 Palmer Hayden 82 Will Harvey Hunt 84 Wadsworth Jarrell 86 Oliver Johnson 90 Rashid Johnson 92 Roman Johnson 94 Sargent Johnson 98 Frederick D. Jones, Jr. 100

Lois Mailou Jones 104 Paul Keene 106 Beni E. Kosh 108 Hughie Lee-Smith 110 Samella Lewis 112 Frank Neal 114 George E. Neal 116 William Etienne Pajaud 118 Gordon Parks 120 James Parks 122 James Phillips 124 David Philpot 126 Rose Piper 128 Carl Pope 132 Charles Ethan Porter 134 James Porter 136 Winfred Rembert 138 John Thomas Riddle, Jr. 140 Gregory Ridley 142

Betye Saar 144 Walter Sanford 148 William Edouard Scott 154 Charles Sebree 158 Arthur Smith 160 Beuford Smith 168 Vincent Smith 170 Alma Thomas 174 Bob Thompson 176 Andrew Turner 180 James Valentine 182 Ruth G. Waddy 184 Shawn Walker 186 Albert Wells 188 Charles White 190 Walter Williams 194 Hale Woodruff 196

Terry Adkins (1953-2014)

Adkins was an artist and musician. He studied at Fisk University, Illinois University, and the University of Kentucky (MFA, 1979). He was, at his death, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. He was most well-known for his sculpture, but he was also a print-maker, performance artist, and saxophonist. His work was included in this past year’s Whitney Biennial, and was the subject of a major retrospective in 2012 at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It has also been featured at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) in Queens, the LedisFlam Gallery in Brooklyn and elsewhere. His work is in the collections of the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA; Fisk University, Hammonds House Resource Center for African American Art, Atlanta, High Museum, Atlanta, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, New Jersey State Museum, and The New School (Greenwich Village). Thelma Golden said in an interview with The New York Times following his death, “He was so deeply inspired by aesthetics, philosophy, spirituality, music, history and culture, and he had such a fertile and generative mind, that he was always able to move between many different ideas and create a lot of space and meaning in a work.”


Terry Adkins (1953-2014)

507 Djuka Suite c. 1997 etching signed, dated and numbered in pencil in the margin 12” x 16.75” $500-700 This image is illustrated in Collecting African American Art , Halima Taha, 1998, p. 200.


Charles Alston (1907-1977) Charles Alston was a painter, sculptor, illustrator, muralist, and educator who lived and worked in Harlem the majority of his life. After his father’s death, his mother remarried Henry Pierce Bearden (Romare Bearden’s uncle) and the family moved from North Carolina to Harlem. Alston painted and sculpted at an early age and received formal instruction at Columbia University. While attending college, he taught art at the Utopia House and served as a mentor to a young Jacob Lawrence. In 1934, he co-founded the Harlem Arts Workshop, which eventually came to be known as “306.” During the early years of the group, Alston focused on mastering portraiture. In 1938, Alston received a Rosenwald Fellowship which enabled him to travel to the South. He accompanied Giles Hubert, an inspector for the Farm Security Administration, which gave him access to unique situations and aspects of rural life which he documented in his “family series” in the 1940’s. Alston’s style grew more abstract by the 1950’s, but he never completely abandoned figurative studies. His figures characteristically maintain a sculpture like quality influenced by African sculpture. Alston states, “As an artist . . . I am intensely interested in probing, exploring the problems of color, space and form, which challenge all contemporary painters. However, as a black American . . . I cannot but be sensitive and responsive in my painting to the injustice, the indignity, and the hypocrisy suffered by black citizens.” Alston became the first black instructor at the Art Students League (NYC) in 1950 and he also taught at the City University of New York. In 1963, he co-founded the Spiral Group with Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Hale Woodruff, and others. Recent exhibitions that have included his work are, A Force for Change, 2009; On Higher Ground: Selections from the Walter O. Evans Collection, 2001; and Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance, 1998. His work may be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Clark Atlanta University Art Gallery. A Place in the Sun references Egyptian symbolism. Alain Locke had encouraged artists of the Harlem Renaissance to explore their African heritage, and these themes are seen repeatedly. Locke was Alston’s mentor, and he advocated African art as the most significant source for inspiration and for the creation of a new "local and racially representative tradition." In 1925, he stressed: "the Negro is not a cultural foundling without an inheritance." In this milieu, the young artists gained a comprehensive knowledge of African art, analyzing its form and content with an eye to enriching their own creativity. (citation: Paul, Stella. "Modern Storytellers: Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000). 8 

Charles Alston (1907-1977)

620 A Place in the Sun c. 1953 oil on canvas signed lower right 36” x 24” $20,000-30,000


Casper Banjo (1937-2008)

Printmaker, sculptor, and educator, Casper Banjo worked in Oakland, California in the 1950’s. He was known for his prints of surreal, amorphous forms often with his trademark brick pattern. Throughout his career, Casper helped install exhibitions at Oakland’s Center for Visual Arts, taught printmaking to homeless artists through the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, and helped the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame create prints of the hands of famous black filmmakers. His work has been included in several important exhibitions, including, Impressions/Expressions: Black American Graphics, organized by the Smithsonian Institution, 1979 – 1981 and Aesthetics of Graffiti, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1978. Currently his work is part of an exhibition organized by the Brooklyn Museum entitled, Revolution! Works from the Black Arts Movement, which will be on view from February 5, 2014 – May 3, 2015. The Brooklyn Museum also has his work in their permanent collection.


Casper Banjo (1937-2008)

631 Self Portrait c. 1973 etching and embossing signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil, edition of 4 23” x 18.5” $500-1,000 Exhibitions: MOAD in San Francisco, CA; Crosscurrents: Africa and Black Diasporas in Dialogue, 1960-1980 (2013-2014).


Anthony Barboza (b. 1944) Barboza was born in New Bedford, MA. He was a founding member of Kamoinge, a group of photographers including Lou Draper, Al Fennar, Ray Francis, and Herb Robinson, Beuford Smith, and Shawn Walker, known collectively as the Kamoinge Workshop (1963). The group was formed to “address the under-representation of black photographers in the art world”. Roy DeCarava acted as its first director. He exhibited extensively from the mid-1960s to the present; selected exhibitions include Studio Museum of Harlem (Kamoinge Workshop Group Show, 1971), Columbia College, Chicago (1974), James VanDerZee Institute, Friends Gallery of New York (1974), Museum of Modern Art (1978), Smithsonian Institution (1999), and the Brooklyn Museum (2001). His work is in the permanent collections of MOMA, Studio Museum of Harlem, Brooklyn Museum, Schomberg Center (NY), Polaroid, and Howard University. His credits include countless art publications. Barboza was successful at crossing over from photojournalism and commissioned work to purely art photography. Note: “Kamoinge” means a group of people working together in Kikuya (an East African language).

567 Coney Island c. 1970 vintage photograph 9” x 13” $1,000-2,000


Anthony Barboza (b. 1944)

569 Sister Soulja

c. 1980 vintage photograph 9.75” x 9.75” $1,000-2,000

575 Harlem c. 1970 vintage photograph 8.5” x 5.5” $1,000-2,000


Richmond Barthé (1901-1989)

Barthé was born in Bay St Louis, Mississippi. He left in 1924, headed for Chicago to study at the Art Institute. It wasn’t until Richmond Barthé’s senior year there that he was introduced to sculpting--in an effort to improve his skill at fleshing out three dimensional forms on canvas. A bust completed in his introductory class was included in the Art Institute’s juried exhibition, “The Negro in Art”, in 1927. This led to commissions for busts of Henry O. Tanner and Toussaint L’Ouverture. He had been awarded two Rosenwald Fellowships in 1929 and 1930, and so after graduation, he moved to New York, focused on establishing himself as a sculptor, set up a studio in Harlem, and continued studying at the Art Student’s League. Both the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased sculptures for their permanent collections. Throughout his career he created intimate portrait busts, large scale public commissions, and studies of the human figure. His work may be found in the public collections of Fisk University, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In a review of his first solo exhibition, Edward Alden Jewell, art critic for the New York Times commented, “Richmond Barthé penetrates far beneath the surface, honestly seeking essentials, and never after finding these essentials, stooping to polish off an interpretation with superficial allure. There is no cleverness, no slickness in this sculpture. Some of the readings deserve, indeed, to be called profound.”


Richmond Barthé (1901-1989)



Face of a Black Woman

Head of a Boy (Black Boy)

c. 1935 painted plaster sculpture with a green-bronze patina on wooden base signed 13” x 5”

c. 1935 painted plaster sculpture with a green-bronze patina on wooden base signed 9.5” x 4”




Phoebe Beasley (b. 1943)

Also known as Arlene A. Beasley, Phoebe Beasley was born in Cleveland, and studied at Ohio State University and Kent State University, graduating in 1969. She had a teaching career at the Cleveland Board of Education and worked later in life as a radio executive in L.A. She is also known for designing the poster for the 1984 Olympic Games, the poster for the Los Angeles Marathon, and other sporting events. She exhibited at the Cinque Gallery, NY, Howard University, Museum of African American Art and the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Beasley worked primarily in the medium of collage, and her printmaking is visually designed in a similar way. Terry Bain writes in The St James Guide to Black Artists, “The overall effect of Beasley’s work has been described in terms of jazz. She applies blocks of color and pattern to her work that quickly draw the eye from one part of the painting to another—and back again—establishing a beat, a rhythm, something to dance to.” Beasley says of her own work: “The block print patterns set up rhythms on the surface” Beasley was greatly influenced by Romare Bearden. REF: three works illustrated in African American Art and Artists, Samella Lewis, 2003.


Phoebe Beasley (b. 1943)

508 Dream Variations c. 1998 color silkscreen signed and numbered in pencil, edition of 99 14” x 11” $400-600


John Thomas Biggers (1924-2001)

Born in North Carolina in 1924, John Biggers’ body of work experienced a constant evolution throughout his career, yet consistently retained themes of southern African American culture rooted deeply in Africa. Biggers attended Hampton Institute (University) in the early 1940s, and befriended Charles White and Elizabeth Catlett. Much of his early work was social realist - depicting the everyday hard work and perseverance of the African American community. In 1949, Biggers moved to Houston, TX and chaired the art department at Texas State University (later Texas Southern). He remained there until his retirement in 1983. As his work progressed, it became increasingly more abstract, utilizing symbols drawn from everyday life and later from African art. Biggers’ work after 1980 was especially informed by the concept of “sacred geometry.” He used carefully constructed groups of 3, 4, and 7. Turtles, birds, quilt patterns, African combs, and xylophones are some of the repeated symbolic images found in his work. Biggers’ work may be found in the collections of Atlanta University, GA; Barnett-Aden Collection, Washington D.C.; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Howard University, Washington D.C.; and the Smithsonian Institution.


John Thomas Biggers (1924-2001)

509 Dau Fuskie Race, The First Race Between the Turtle and the Hare c. 1998 lithograph signed, dated and numbered in pencil, edition of 200 10” x 13.75” $1,000-1,500  


Sylvester Britton (1926-2009)

Born in 1926 on the South Side of Chicago, Sylvester Britton attended the Abraham Lincoln Center, a cultural center in Chicago. He received formal art training in Mexico City at the School of Painting and Sculpture for six years before returning to Chicago in 1952 where he studied at School of the Art Institute. He later traveled to Europe, living and exhibiting work both in Paris and Sweden before earning enough money to travel back to the U.S. by making Christmas cards. When he returned to the United States, he was instrumental in the revival of the South Side Community Art Center and became its gallery director. Britton exhibited at the Oak Park Library, Atlanta University, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the South Side Community Art Center. He was awarded the Eisendrath Prize from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1956.


Sylvester Britton (1926-2009)

640 Still Life c. oil on canvas signed lower right 60.5” x 24” $600-800 Exhibitions: The Art Institute of Chicago, Sixty-Eighth Annual Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity, 1965


Selma Burke (1900-1995) Although Selma Burke displayed an early aptitude for sculpting, it wasn’t until the early stages of midlife that she actively pursued art as a career. She was initially employed as the private nurse of a wealthy heiress, who later became a supportive patron. Burke received her M.F.A. from Columbia University at the age of 41 and became involved with the Harlem Artists Guild and the WPA. During the 1930s, she traveled across Europe studying and honing her skills as a painter under Aristide Maillol of Paris and ceramics under Wiener Werkstatte master, Michael Powolny in Vienna. The refinement of her craft as a sculptor throughout her career led to important commissions for relief portraits of FDR, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Duke Ellington among others. The portrait she created of FDR served as the model for his image on the US dime used today. Burke was also a dedicated educator, opening the Selma Burke School of Sculpture in New York City in 1940 and the Selma Burke Art Center in Pittsburgh, PA in 1968. A nine-foot statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. she completed while in her eighties is on display in Marshall Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Burke was recognized by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 for her contribution to African American art history. Her work may be found in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Spelman College, GA; Atlanta University, GA; and the Shomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY. Figures Embracing reveals the influence of European modernism on Burke’s aesthetic, combined with the concern for superior craftsmanship in achieving a dynamic, balanced composition. REF: A Force for Change: African American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund, Daniel Schulman, 2009 (catalog accompanying the exhibition) St James Guide to Black Artists , Thomas Riggs, 1997


Selma Burke (1900-1995)

545 Figures Embracing c. 1975 wood signed and dated 18�h $2,500-3,500



Margaret Burroughs (1917-2010) Margaret Burroughs was born in Louisiana in 1917. Her family moved to the south side of Chicago in 1922. Here, she studied at the Chicago Normal School and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art education at the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1940 to 1968 she was a teacher in the Chicago public schools and a professor of humanities at Kennedy-King College in Chicago from 1969-1979. At age 22, she founded the South Side Community Art Center, a community organization that continues to serve as a gallery and workshop studio for artists and students. In the early 1950’s, Burroughs started the Lake Meadows Art Fair where African Americans could showcase and sell their art. Burroughs also lived in Mexico for a time, where she studied printmaking and mural painting with the Taller Editorial de Grafica Popular (People’s Graphic Workshop) under Leopoldo Mendez, a prominent printmaker of the Diego Rivera circle. When she returned, she and her husband Charles founded the DuSable Museum of African American History in their living room. It remained there for nearly a decade until it moved to its own building in Chicago’s Washington Park. Throughout her career, Burroughs worked in many mediums, showing special facility in watercolors and linocut printmaking. For many years, she worked with linoleum block prints to create images evocative of African American culture. She is also an accomplished poet and author of children’s books. . In 1975 she received the President’s Humanitarian Award, and in 1977 was distinguished as one of Chicago’s Most Influential Women by the Chicago Defender. February 1, 1986 was proclaimed “Dr. Margaret Burroughs Day” in Chicago by late Mayor Harold Washington. Burroughs passed away on November 21, 2010. Her work can be found in the collections of Howard University, Alabama State Normal School, Atlanta University, DuSable Museum of African American History, Johnson Publishing Company, and the Oakland Museum.


Margaret Burroughs (1917-2010)

517 African Odalisque c. 1984 lithograph signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil, edition of 16 16.75” x 10” $500-700

532 The Couple c.2002 linocut signed, titled, dated and numbered, edition of 4 18.25” x 11” $500-700

516 On the Beach c. 1957 linocut signed, titled and numbered in pencil, edition of 50 11” x 14.25” $500-700


Allen D. Carter (1947-2008)

Carter studied painting and photography at the Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, OH) and with James Valentine (also in Columbus). He moved to Washington DC, and did his graduate study at American University (1974). He took on the role of artist-in-residence at Art Works, in Washington, DC. He combined skillful figure painting and draftsmanship with abstract, sometimes comical, imagery. He exhibited extensively from the late 1970s-90s. A few highlight exhibits were at Anton Gallery (Washington, DC); Midtown Gallery (New York); Corcoran Gallery (“The Washington Show”, 1985); and the University of Richmond, Virginia (“Contemporary Modes of Expression: VA/DC”, 1987). Throughout the 1980s, he executed several murals in the Washington, DC area, including “Migration to Washington”, Smithsonian Folklife Festival (1988) and “Man Feeding Poor Man”, Washington Project for the Arts, Lerner Bldg., 1982). REF: “Al Carter, Present Intense with a Palette of Emotion”, Washington Times, January, 1987 Next Generations:Southern Black Aesthetic, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, 1990, WinstonSalem (illus. p 61-62), catalog accompanying the exhibition.


Allen D. Carter (1947-2008)

618 Ozella c. 1970-1980 oil on canvas signed and titled verso 20” x 19.5” $1,500-2,500 Provenance: The estate of James Valentine


Allen D. Carter (1947-2008)

629 Portrait of a Man c. 1970 charcoal drawing and wash on paper signed 46” x 35” $1,000-2,000 Provenance: The estate of James Valentine


Allen D. Carter (1947-2008)

610 608

Two Boats Near a Bridge

Mister Sam Looking for Fish

c. 1970 ink drawing on paper signed and titled 13” x 17.5”

c. 1970 ink drawing on paper signed and titled 11” x 8” $300-500

$500-700 Provenance: The estate of James Valentine

Provenance: The estate of James Valentine


William Sylvester Carter (1909-1996)

Born in St. Louis, MO, William Sylvester Carter moved to Chicago in 1930 to study art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois. In order to earn room and board, Carter worked as a janitor at the Palette and Chisel Club (an all-White club, to which he became an honorary member in 1986). He was among the artists represented in the American Negro Exposition assembled by Alonzo Aden, with the Harmon Foundation and the W.P.A. The same year, he exhibited at Howard University Gallery of Art. Carter also worked for the W.P.A in Illinois in 1943, and taught art at the historic South Side Community Center. His work may be found in the public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the DuSable Museum of African American History, and the South Side Community Art Center. Carter’s work, The Card Game , 1950, was recently included in the exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, “They Seek a City, Chicago and the Art of Migration” (see cat., p 87); it also appears in The Black Chicago Renaissance, by Darlene Clark Hine and John McCluskey, Jr.


William Sylvester Carter (1909-1996)

592 Cubist City c. 1950 mixed media signed lower right 23.5” x 20” $3,000-5,000


William Sylvester Carter (1909-1996)

641 615 Nude c. 1940 oil on canvas 24” x 18” $700-900


Portrait of a Woman c. 1940 oil on canvasboard signed 20” x 16” $700-900

William Sylvester Carter (1909-1996)

591 Still Life c. 1947 oil on canvas signed and dated lower right 15.5” x 27” $3,000-5,000


Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012) Elizabeth Catlett was born in Washington D.C. She attended Howard University where she studied design, printmaking and drawing. She continued her graduate work at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History and in 1940, became the first student to receive an M.F.A. in sculpture from the school. Grant Wood instilled in her the idea of working with subjects that she, the artist, knew best. She was inspired to create Mother and Child  in 1939 for her thesis. This limestone sculpture won first prize in its category at the American Negro Exposition in Chicago, 1940.  Eager to continue her education, she studied ceramics at the Art Institute of Chicago,(1941), lithography at the Art Students League of New York (1942-43), and independently with sculptor Ossip Zadkine in New York (1943).   In 1946 Catlett received a Rosenwald Fellowship that allowed her to travel to Mexico City with her husband, Charles White, where she studied wood carving with Jose L. Ruiz and ceramic sculpture with Francisco Zuniga.  There, she worked with the Taller de Grafica Popular, (People’s Graphic Arts Workshop), a group of printmakers dedicated to using their art to promote social change. The TGP inspired her to reach out to the broadest possible audience, which often  meant balancing abstraction with figuration.  “I learned how you use your art for the service of people, struggling people, to whom only realism is meaningful,” she later said of this period. After settling in Mexico and later becoming a Mexican citizen, she taught sculpture at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City until retiring in 1975.Ms. Catlett was more concerned with the social dimension of her art than  its novelty or originality. “I have always wanted my art to service my people — to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential.” REF: National Museum of Women in the Arts. Catlett’s subject matter was predominantly the female figure.


Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)



Black Girl


c. 2004 lithograph signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil, edition of 90 18” x 12.5”

c. 2003 lithograph signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil, edition of 50 16” x 11.5”




Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)

601 Woman Newspaper Vendor c. 1958 hand colored linocut signed and dated in pencil lower right, TGP stamp on verso 19” x 14.25” $3,000-5,000 Other Notes: This is a very rare, early, unique work. 36 

598 Children with Flowers c. 1995 color lithograph signed, dated and numbered in pencil in the margin, edition of 150 25” x 18.25” $1,000-1,500

Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)

628 630 Fiesta c. 1982 color screenprint pencil singed, dated 1988, and numbered 52/200 in lower margin 26.5” x 19”

Roots c. 1981 color screenprint pencil singed, dated 1981, and numbered 6/40 in lower margin 14” x 19.75” $1,500-2,500 Provenance: The estate of Varnette P. Honeywood, Los Angeles

$1,000-2,000 Provenance: The estate of Varnette P. Honeywood, Los Angeles  


Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)

633 Which Way? c. 1973/2003 lithograph signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil, edition of 25 11” x 14.5” $1,500-2,000


Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012) 614 Malcom X Speaks for Us c. 1969 color linoleum cut Artist’s proof, aside from the first edition of 35, pencil signed, dated 1969, titled and inscribed “AP/V” in lower margin 37.75” x 27.25” $5,000-7,000 Provenance: The estate of Varnette P. Honeywood, Los Angeles Other Notes: This is one of the artist’s most iconic images and a very rare print. There are several works included in the sale that are from the collection of Varnette P. Honeywood (1950-2014) and they are noted in the description. Varnette Honeywood worked as an artist in Los Angeles. Both her parents were from the South—her mother Mississippi and her father, Louisiana, and they were both elementary school teachers. Varnette chose to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, and USC. She worked and exhibited extensively from the late 1970s-90s. Her work entered the living rooms of the majority of the nation in the 1980s, when a reproduction of one of her paintings, Birthday (1974) appeared on the wall of the set of the Cosby Show. Her work Lifelong Learning (1996), was created for the invitation and program of the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center dedication and celebration at Spelman College. Varnette’s lifelong accomplishments and awards are numerous. In addition to creating art, she collected it, and knew the artists on a personal level.


Nick Cave (b. 1959) Cave was born and raised in Fulton, Missouri, and attended the Kansas City Art Institute. He was introduced to both sewing, through the fiber arts program, and dancing while there. He also danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. He eventually earned his MFA at Cranbrook in 1989. Cave accepted a teaching position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago about the time he executed this untitled collage (1990). In 1992, during the riots in Los Angeles, sparked by the Rodney King incident, Cave spontaneously formulated his idea for his soundsuits. One night in Millennium Park, he was contemplating his identity as an artist and also a black male: “I was just so emotionally charged by that experience and yet I couldn’t really share it with anyone at the same time.” Nato Thompson writes in Nick Cave, Epitome, 2014, (“Out of a Riot Comes a Dream, The Public and Private Iterations of Nick Cave”): “Staring down at the ground his eyes focused on a twig. Something discarded, something thrown to the side…He gathered more of them up and decided to build his way through this pain. He wanted an armor. Something to hide inside…A body riddled with materials so much that the wearer becomes eclipsed and transformed.” Greatly simplified, Nick Cave’s art— his kinetic “soundsuits”, his sculpture, and his two dimensional collages and assemblages, are about starting with something (relatively) small and combining it with multitudes of both similar and dissimilar small components, and transforming it into something large, something substantial, something relevant. His soundsuits follow a history of nearly every culture of transforming one’s self through costume, but his other forms of artwork point to the same basic principle: the balance of the positive and the negative. Something can be small and large simultaneously, and it is vital for people to keep that in mind—or they become isolated and alienated and weak. This statement can most certainly be applied to civil rights and racial equality issues, and perhaps it was born out of that, but it is also universal. This untitled collage predates the (theoretical) creation of the soundsuit by two years, but it is revealing to Cave’s artistic thought process. The repetitive forms on the left, stacked one on top of another allude to growth, that they started as a singularity, and combined with similar forms, have transformed into something with a dual identity: they remain individual forms, but are also viewed as one larger form simultaneously. The lower half of the image, in darkness, resembles the primordial soup of nothingness—pre-identity; and the hand-sewn stitch, zig-zagging through it represents the charge, the catalyst of change. Cave’s oeuvre, in its entirety, represents the duality of evolution and revolution.


Nick Cave (b. 1959)

650 Untitled c. 1990 collage and ink on paper signed and dated lower left 47.75” x 31” $5,000-7,000  


Ralph Chessé (1900-1991)

Ralph Chessé was born in New Orleans and was primarily self-taught as an artist, with the exception of a few months study at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1918. He traveled to Southern California in 1923 and eventually headed north to the Bay Area in the early 1930s, where he painted and worked as a professional puppeteer in children’s theater, an activity he mastered and continued throughout his life. Chessé worked for the Public Works Art Project in 1933, contributing to the Coit Tower murals in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. His fresco reflects his work in children’s theater by depicting children at play, and seems to present its characters in an almost puppet-like manner. Each child is separated in space and frozen in movement, almost as if they are posing for a picture or pretending to play. Its design was inspired by the work of early American primitive limners, who traveled the land in the years before the spread of photography. They brought along with them canvases pre-painted with bodies––headless bodies waiting for individual face portraits to be added. Chessé linked his physically isolated children by way of a gravel path that guides the eye downward from left to right through the mural and past each child at play. He continued this approach to figure painting throughout his career. He exhibited his work at the Gildea Gallery and the Lucien Labaudt Gallery in San Francisco, the Duncan Gallery in New York, and the Marc Antony Gallery in New Orleans. He was a member of the San Francisco Art Association and the Oakland Art Association. His work was included in group exhibitions at the Oakland Art Gallery (now the Oakland Museum of California) and the de Young Museum. A solo exhibition of his work was mounted at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Ralph Chessé (1900-1991)

597 Lethargy c. 1941 color screenprint signed, titled and numbered in pencil in the margin 9.25” x 12.25” $300-500


Claude Clark (1915-2001)

Born on a tenant farm in Georgia in 1915, Claude Clark moved to Philadelphia with his family during the Great Migration in search of better economic opportunities. Following graduation from high school, Clark attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art from 1935-1939, as well as receiving training from the Albert Barnes Foundation from 1939-1944. Clark’s early works were heavily influenced by French painters - as exemplified by his use of the palette knife to create texture and his use of heavy, dark lines to outline fluid shapes; however, his affiliation with Albert Barnes shaped his appreciation of African Art and encouraged him to concentrate on images of African Americans. Rural life in the South and the Caribbean have been recurring themes throughout his career. Clark’s work may be found in the collections of the Du Sable Museum, IL; Fisk University, TN; Atlanta University, GA; and Hampton University, VA.


Claude Clark (1915-2001)

600 Corner House c. 1952 oil on board signed 12” x 16” $1,500-2,500


Ernest Crichlow (1914-2005)

Social realist painter, illustrator, and educator, Ernest Crichlow was born in 1914 in Brooklyn, NY. He began studying commercial art at the School of Commercial Illustrating and Advertising Art, NY and fine art with the Art Student’s League. In 1930, Crichlow found a mentor in Augusta Savage when he joined the Harlem Artist’s Guild, alongside other such notables as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Norman Lewis. Here he found his niche creating social realist works that packed a powerful message. During the Depression, he found work with the WPA, teaching art and working on mural projects. He used this platform to create works that captured “the indomitable inner strength, intrinsic beauty, dignity, and essential humanity of the African American community.” He continued to support his community by establishing Brooklyn’s Fulton Art Fair in 1958. In 1969, along with Romare Bearden and Norman Lewis he co-founded the Cinque Art Gallery, dedicated to supporting and exhibiting the works of emerging black artists. He created a 25 panel mural in 1976 for the Boys and Girls High School of Brooklyn depicting people at work in various trades and careers as an inspiration for those students to achieve excellence. Crichlow was also known for his illustrations and children’s books. Throughout his career, he participated in notable exhibitions at the American Negro Exposition, Chicago, 1940; the New York World’s Fair; the Harlem Community Center; the Downtown Gallery; ACA Gallery; and Atlanta University. He was honored as one of ten black artists from the National Conference of Artists by President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970’s. Crichlow’s, Reflections of Another Time, was included in “Southern Journeys, African American Artists of the South”, a traveling museum exhibit, originating out of the Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL (2011).


Ernest Crichlow (1914-2005)

627 Cissy


c. 1956 lithograph signed, titled and dated in pencil 15” x 11.75”

Reflections of Another Time


c. 2001 color lithograph signed, titled and numbered in pencil, edition of 125 29.25” x 21.5” $1,500-2,000  


Charles Criner (b. 1945)

Charles Criner was born in 1945 and grew up in Athens, TX. He attended Texas Southern University in Houston between 1964 and 1968, studying under John Thomas Biggers. The scenes of Criner’s stone lithographs, the medium he best prefers, are biographical images pulled both from childhood memories and the artist’s immediate environment; “My art reflects my beliefs and the things that I like to do. Fishing has always been one of my favorite pastimes... I also love to recapture the Black experience in the form of people working in the fields.  I believe that these images are important and that they should be cherished windows into our past.” Criner’s artwork is included in numerous prestigious private collections and has been exhibited at or is in the permanent collections of: the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI; the Tubman African American Museum, Macon, GA; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY, the Tyler Museum of Art, TX; Museum of Printing History, Houston, TX; Texas Southern University; the Longview Museum of Fine Arts, Longview, TX; University of Arkansas; the Okane Gallery at the University of Houston; the King Center-Columbus, OH; Southern University at Shreveport, LA; Southern University at Baton Rouge, LA; the African American Museum Dallas, TX; and San Antonio Museum, TX. Currently, Criner is the Resident Artist at the Museum of Printing History in Houston.  In the museum, Criner operates a studio, further defines his craft, and leads stone lithography workshops using his antique press.


Charles Criner (b. 1945)

519 Underground Railroad c. 2004 lithograph signed, titled and dated in pencil, AP 26.25” x 16.25” $500-1,000


Abraham Lincoln Criss (b. 20th century)

Abe lived and worked in Essex County, New Jersey as a janitor and later as a furniture craftsman. In the 1960s he returned to Virginia, where he opened a furniture repair and antiques business. Abe made fanciful useful furniture by taking parts that weren’t broken from different piece and marrying them together. In 1976 he began to make his sculptural pieces of animals and humans. He would find trees and add what was needed to complete the figure. His heads were made from a “secret” mixture of sawdust, glaze and additives. Criss held services in his home on Sundays for a small congregation. William and Ann Oppenheimer, who founded the Folk Art Society of America, discovered him around 1985 and brought his work to the world’s attention. William Oppenheimer said of Criss: “Abe only attended a few days of kindergarten. That was his formal education.  Yet he could philosophize and talk on any level.  We put together a folk art show that featured his work alongside Tom Gordon’s.  Gordon was a lawyer and a Virginia Supreme Court justice.  Yet the two of them talked together about all sorts of topics.  Abe could hold his own with anyone.” Criss moved back to his daughters in New Jersey a few years before his death. The original owner of this work told the story: “I bought this from Mr. Criss in the summer of 1985 at his home in West Vriginia.  I was on a road trip with a couple of artist friends from NYC to the West Coast when we spotted a bottle tree out side this house on a slight hill on the right hand side of the road.  We stopped and introduced ourselves.  Mr. Criss kindly showed us around and we each bought a piece of his work.  I believe this encounter has recently been written up in Fire in my Belly; The Life of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr.  David was my friend and he and I and Steve Doughton all purchased sculptures by Mr. Criss.”


Abraham Lincoln Criss (b. 20th century)

638 Female Figure, c. 1984 carved wooden sculpture with found objects signed and dated 16.5� high $400-600



Bruce A. Davenport Jr. (b. 1972)

Following Hurricane Katrina and the devastation to New Orleans and its schools, Bruce Davenport, Jr. felt compelled to honor the past glory of its unique band culture and celebrate those who are able to continue it. In his words, “The marching bands are a passion to me. I love the history and culture… My work serves as an illustrative reminder of an activity that not only encourages creative thought processing but also engages youth with the community and with each other. Using photographic documentation of these bands in action, I recreate their vibrant pageantry… hopefully leaving behind a sacred reminder of a vibrant part of my hometown’s identity.” Davenport has exhibited at the Dieu Donne Gallery and the As If Gallery in New York and also at the Lambent Foundation in New York. His work was exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans as part of Prospect 1.5 and at the New Orleans Museum of Art as part of Prospect 2. Bruce Davenport lives and works in the Lower 9th Ward.


Bruce A. Davenport Jr. (b. 1972)

645 A.N.O. Hero 6th Ward Superstar Southern University Jaguars Marching Band in Formation c. 2001 archival ink, Fabert Castell artist pen on paper signed and dated lower right 17” x 8.25” $500-700


Beauford Delaney (1901-1979) Beauford Delaney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, one of ten children, and older brother to artist Joseph Delaney. Delaney’s talent was discovered by local and influential painter, Lloyd Branson whose support took him to Boston to study at the Massachusetts Normal School, the Copley Society, and the South Boston School of Art, in the mid-1920s. In 1929, he moved to New York, where he became an important figure of the Harlem Renaissance, painting urban landscapes populated with the disenfranchised people he lived among, as well as portraits, sometimes of his famous friends. Although he was a well respected artist with influential friends like James Baldwin, Henry Miller, and Georgia O’Keefe, he couldn’t escape the sense of marginalization he felt as an individual who constantly had to overcome the inequalities of being not only African American, but homosexual as well. He moved to Paris in 1950, a place where he felt a new sense of freedom. His style shifted from the figurative compositions of New York City life, to abstract expressionist studies of color and light, notably a vibrant, Van Gogh inspired yellow. In 1956, he met Darthea Speyer, an American cultural attaché living in Paris. She organized a group exhibition of works which included Delaney at the American Cultural Center in 1966, as well as two solo exhibitions of his work at her gallery which was established in 1968. Delaney lived his remaining years in Paris, eventually being hospitalized for mental illness and dying in 1979. His work may be found in the collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; The Studio Museum, Harlem, NY; the Smithsonian Institution, and Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, MA. In Narratives of African American Art and Identity, The David C. Driskell Collection, it is written, “Delaney’s relationship with abstraction predates the notorious Abstract Expressionist movement, positioning him as a forerunner of one of the most ideological and stylistic developments in twentieth-century American art.”


Beauford Delaney (1901-1979)

526 Jazz Concert in the Old Synagogue, Lower East Side, New York c. 1963 oil on canvas signed lower left 16” x 18” $30,000-50,000 Exhibitions: Dixon Museum, Memphis, Augusta Savage’s Gamin, January 19-March 23, 2014.


Beauford Delaney (1901-1979)

622 Sollies Toucas c. 1963 oil on canvas signed, titled and dated on the stretcher 15.75” x 13” $40,000-60,000 Provenance: This painting was formerly in the collection of artist, Don Freeman

Don Freeman (American, 1908-1978) was a painter and illustrator and a close personal friend of Delaney’s. Freeman illustrated the immensely popular children’s book, Corduroy. In an interview with Betty Hoag (Oral Histories, June 4,1965, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution), Freeman expressed his outrage concerning the W.P.A.’s refusal to accept Delaney’s work based on the subject matter: “DON FREEMAN: The thing that I thought was very good during the project was the wide range of acceptance of all kinds of art. It really should have been based on not their art work so much as how are they existing? Helping them to live till the next week and if they’re practicing artists their work was recognized. I do know that I was furious with one thing there, a friend of mine who really should have been on the project and I said now you just take you work in and show it to so and so, like everyone else, he did this but they said, your work, you should do more about the workers, you should paint the workers and then maybe – he was already abstract in those days.” DON FREEMAN: B-E-A-U-F-O-R-D D-E-L-A-N-E-Y. He has a brother in New York now, but I think, I don’t know whether I should say this but I was always so upset that somebody had the wrong notion and I hope there wasn’t too many people kept off because they didn’t paint the right painting, because this is not what I found to be the usual thing but in this one instance of Beauford, I just felt very badly. Freeman knew Delaney when he lived at No. 10 Downing Street in New York, and Beauford’s living conditions were horrific. He spoke of them posting demolition signs on his building daily, and huge cracks in the walls, and during the winter the pipes had burst and there was an entire layer of ice forming under the floorboards.


Beauford Delaney (1901-1979)



Joseph Delaney (1904-1991)

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1904, the younger brother of Beauford Delaney, Joseph Delaney moved to New York City in 1930 where he enrolled at the Art Student’s League. During the Great Depression, he painted many portraits on commission and was employed by the WPA. Beginning in 1931, Delaney became a regular exhibitor at the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit where he offered portrait sketches executed during the event. His work shows a great love of New York City wher he remained for 55 years capturing dynamic urban scenes and diverse figures depicted in a loose, exaggerated style. In 1985, Delaney returned to Knoxville, where he was named artist-in-residence at the University of Tennessee, until his death in 1991. His work can be found in the major collections of the Indianapolis Museum of Art; Alain Locke Society, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J; Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; and the Harlem State Office Building Art Collection, New York. REF: Life in the City: The Art of Joseph Delaney, catalog for the exhibition: Ewing Gallery, University of Tennessee, 2004. Frederick Moffatt.


Joseph Delaney (1904-1991)

538 Reclining Figure c. 1955 oil on board signed and dated lower left 24” x 20” $2,500-3,500

539 New York Scene c. 1973 pastel on paper signed and dated lower left 17.75” x 12” $1,500-2,000


Joseph Delaney (1904-1991)

616 Untitled (Women Chatting) c. 1950 oil on board 26.5” x 24” $1,250-1,750


Joseph Delaney (1904-1991)

604 Holy Tutch (sic) c. 1935 oil on masonite signed lower left 31.75” x 24.75” $3,000-5,000


Louis Delsarte (b. 1944)

Louis J. Delsarte is an American artist of African and French ancestry known for what critics have referred to as his “illusionist” style. He is a painter, draftsman, muralist, printmaker, and poet. While growing up in New York City, Delsarte was surrounded by music including jazz, opera, musicals, and the blues. His parents were friends with artists and entertainers from the Harlem Renaissance like Lena Horne, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes. These influences along with his knowledge and interest in African American history and world culture have served as an inspiration for his art. In an interview appearing in Colorline Magazine (Feb., 1989), Delsarte states, “I am constantly going through rage and rapture. My mood swings are a result of feelings accepted or rejected. Issues such as jealousy, fear, guilt, cause a war in my mind and a war on my nerves.” (REF: African American Art and Artists, Samella Lewis, 2003, pp. 184-185). Delsarte’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries throughout the United States including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. In 2001, his work was chosen as part of the exhibition, When the Spirit Moves: African American Dance in History and Art. He currently serves as professor of fine arts at Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA. Unity is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Louis Delsarte (b. 1944)

595 Unity c. 1995 color lithograph on wove paper pencil signed, titled, dated ‘95, and numbered 97/100 28.5” x 21.5” $1,500-2,000


James Denmark (b. 1936) James Denmark was born in Winter Haven, Florida on March 23, 1936 into a family of artists. He was exposed to color and form at an early age by his grandmother, a wire sculptor and quilt artist, by his grandfather, a bricklayer noted for his unique custom design molds and his mother who was gifted with an intuitive feeling for design and a fastidiousness for detail, which she expressed in all aspects of her daily life. This rich beginning is the root of James Denmark’s creative expression. He attended Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida on a sports scholarship. While pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at FAMU, Denmark came under the tutelage of the artist and acclaimed African-American art historian, Dr. Samella Lewis, who exposed him to the great traditions and accomplishments of the African-American art movement. After graduating from FAMU, Denmark moved to Brooklyn, New York and began a career as an art teacher in the public school system. From 1973 to 1976, Denmark earned his Master of Fine Arts Degree at the Pratt Institute of Fine Arts in New York. While at Pratt, Denmark met and was nurtured by an immensely talented community of artists. During this period he was heavily influenced by the Abstract Expressionists and admired such mainstream artists as Jackson Pollock, Clifford Still, William deKooning. The African-American masters Norman Lewis, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence and Ernest Crichlow instilled in him an appreciation of African/American artistic heritage. “So much richness reinforced my natural talents,” Denmark says of his growth at Pratt. His work underwent a stylistic transition at this time, and he began experimenting with collage. Prior to this period, he worked primarily in watercolors and charcoal. Denmark’s collages, watercolors, woodcuts and reproductions are consistently and eagerly sought by galleries and collectors worldwide. He has had over 60 one-man exhibitions and has participated in a number of group shows. His level of acclaim is reflected in the number of prestigious collections in which his works are represented, most notable that of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.


James Denmark (b. 1936)

523 Street Friends c. 1980 linocut signed and titled in pencil, AP 23” x 15.5” $500-700


Walter W. Ellison (1900-1977) Ellison was born in Georgia in 1900. He developed his early love of art into a career as a painter, designer and craftsman. He was best known for his works depicting the shared experiences of African Americans who were a part of the Great Migration north, a movement that he had experienced for himself. After moving north to Chicago in the 1920s, he attended the Art Institute of Chicago. Ellison was employed by the Easel Painting Division of the Illinois Art Project/Works Progress Administration and was active in the South Side Community Art Center. His work was featured widely in exhibits featuring African-American artists, however by the early 1940’s, he seemed to have stopped actively exhibiting. Ellison died in Chicago in 1977. His work may be found in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and the St Louis Art Museum. With the Depression raging and black unemployment at nearly 50 percent, Policy was not only an obsession, it was also one of the leading engines of jobs and economic production in Chicago’s teeming black neighborhood known as Bronzeville. As described at length by Horace Cayton and St. Clair Drake in their captivating 1945 study of Chicago’s black citizens, Black Metropolis, there were some 500 policy stations in the neighborhood: one on almost every block and more numerous than churches. At its height in the late 1930s, Policy employed more than five thousand people, “with a weekly payroll of over $25,000, and an annual gross turnover of at least $18,000,000.” (taken from text written by Daniel Schulman, seen on the website: Schulman is describing another work by Ellison, Old Policy Wheel, (1936). Ironically, he points to an excerpt claiming there were more policy stations than churches in Bronzeville. In the painting, Just Business , policy has actually been brought into the church. In what appears to be a makeshift neighborhood church, repurposed from an old vacant retail store, we see the pastor addressing an almost exclusively female audience, dressed for church, and packed into the front pews. The men, originally seated in the back of the congregation, and likely with the intention of the events unfolding, have abandoned their seats to buy policy tickets through an open window from a neighborhood “runner”. A second glance back to the front of the congregation reveals the pastor turning a blind eye to the proceedings in the back. Ellison foresaw this back and forth play and emphasized it. His portrayal of the physical setting coincides with the nature of the activity: the front of the congregation is swathed in light and nicely appointed with floral arrangements, while the rear of the building, or what is our foreground, is dark and the walls show decay. Ellison also left one pew toward the back completely empty, to act as a subtle dividing line between the two dynamics. The posture of the men in the composition reveals a measure of insecurity and guilt, but not so much that they wouldn’t stand in plain sight and do it. Ellison’s paintings consistently convey the message that the lapse of judgement and/or morality is enacted in plain sight. REF: Koehnline Museum of Art. Convergence: Jewish and African American Artists in Depression-era Chicago. Des Plaines, IL: Oakton Community College, 2008. Schulman, Daniel. “Walter Ellison.” In Chicago Modern, 1893–1945: Pursuit of the New, edited by Elizabeth Kennedy, p. 109. Chicago: Terra Museum of American Art, 2004. They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1910-1950 (Art Institute of Chicago, catalog to the exhibition), Sarah Kelly Oehler


Walter W. Ellison (1900-1977)

506 Just Business c. 1940 oil on paperboard signed lower right; titled and dated on label verso 18” x 24” $30,000-50,000


Mikki Ferrill (b. 1937) Ferrill studied photography, drawing, sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. She became a professional photographer in the 1970s. “Photography was the medium that could give me all the aspects I wanted in an art form: the ability to record the situation as it truly appeared yet with a personal interpretation.” (REF: The Beautiful Project: “The Beautiful Project” uses photography to confront positive & negative portrayals of Black girls & women; ) “The varied photojournalistic work of photographer and curator Valeria “Mikki” Ferrill has focused on everything from black cowboys to “Dykes on Bikes” at the Gay Pride parade in San Francisco, giving faces to both racial and sexual communities that are little known in mainstream society.” (REF: The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts, Clause Summers, 2004.) Several of Ferrill’s works are included in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is listed in the Chicago Artist’s Archive (Chicago Public Library). REF: Shades of Black: Assembling Black Arts in 1980s Britain, David Bailey, 2005; The Black Photographers Annual (multiple years—1970s). Her credits include Ebony, Jet, The Chicago Tribune, and Time.

564 Untitled Piano Player c. 1970 vintage photograph 6” x 9” $1,000-2,000


Mikki Ferrill (b. 1937)

574 Muhammad Speaks c. 1970 vintage photograph 8.5” x 5.25”

571 Slim Dancing Low Down c. 1970 vintage photograph 8.5” x 5.25” $1,000-2,000



Herbert Gentry (1919-2003)

Herbert Gentry was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1921. He moved with his mother to New York as a small child. His mother won a beauty contest and became a dancer and showgirl. He said this life in New York prepared him for Europe. He was initially a part of the Harlem Renaissance, studying through the WPA and New York University in 1940-42, but after serving in WWII was encouraged by his mother to return to Europe if he was serious about his art. He returned to Paris in 1946, and studied at L’ Ecole des Beaux-Arts and L’Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, where he studied with sculptor Ossip Zadkine and Yves Brailler. He first became acquainted with traditional African sculpture while visiting several of the Paris museums. His relationships with the modernists Alberto Giacometti, Brancusi, and Braque and interest in German Expressionism greatly influenced his work by the 1950’s. He became known chiefly for his semi-figural abstract style and for paintings of faces, heads, and masks, both animal and human. Gentry moved to Copenhagen in 1959, and eventually to Sweden, although in 1969, he lived for a time at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. The last three decades of his life he divided his time mainly between Stockholm and New York, although he always maintained a studio in Paris. Gentry confessed, “I still live the cafe life.” His work is included in the collections of the Harmon Foundation, NY; Museum of African-American History, Chicago; National Museum, Stockholm; and UNESCO,Paris.


Herbert Gentry (1919-2003)

510 Figures c. 1980 graphite on paper signed lower right 9.5” x 7.5” $500-700


Sam Gilliam (b. 1933)

Since the 1960’s, Sam Gilliam has consistently worked in the abstract, exploring color, texture, and form with new and innovative techniques and media. He initially rose to prominence when he removed his richly pigmented canvases from their stretchers, draping them on walls or suspending them from the ceilings. With each new exhibition space, the canvas could be rearranged. By the late seventies, Gilliam drew influence from jazz musicians such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane. He started producing dynamic geometric collages, which he called “Black Paintings.” In the 1980s, Gilliam’s style changed dramatically to quilted paintings reminiscent of African patchwork quilts from his childhood. His most recent works are textured paintings that incorporate metal forms. Gilliam’s ability to move beyond the draped canvas, coupled with his ability to adopt new series keeps the viewers interested and engaged. This has assured his prominence in the art world as an exciting and innovative contemporary painter. Gilliam’s work can be found in the collections of the Museum of African Art, Washington D.C.; Museum of Modern Art; Phillips Collection; Washington Gallery of Modern Art; National Collection of Fine Arts; Corcoran Gallery; Howard University; Carnegie Institute; and the Walker Art Center, MN. Relevant examples of his work are illustrated in: Collecting African American Art, Halima Taha; African American Art and Artists, Samella Lewis; Tradition Redefined, The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African American Art, Brenda Thompson; African American Art, Harlem Renaissance Civil Rights Era and Beyond, Richard Powell and Virginia Mecklenburg; Narratives of African American Art and Identity, The David C. Driskell Collection.


Sam Gilliam (b. 1933)

584 Untitled c. 1974 unique monotype on handmade paper signed and numbered 14/16 29.5” x 29.5” signed $2,000-3,000


John Wesley Hardrick (1891-1968)

John W. Hardrick was best known as an accomplished portrait painter and landscape artist. His distinctive landscapes, Impressionist in style, drew inspiration from William Forsyth, his instructor at the John Herron School of Art and member of the Hoosier Group. Hardrick made many trips to Brown County, Indiana, registering the details of the countryside with his mind, rather than a sketchbook. He painted from memory, mixing his own colors and applying the paint thickly and expressively with a palette knife, embellishing the scene somewhat with his own energy and imagination.


John Wesley Hardrick (1891-1968)

593 Indiana Landscape c. 1935 oil on board signed 26” x 36.5” $15,000-20,000 Catalogue Note: This is possibly the finest example of a landscape with figures by this artist we have seen.


John Wesley Hardrick (1891-1968)

Hardrick painted portraits of many of the well-known citizens of Indianapolis, both white and African American, as well as working as a WPA muralist in 1933-34. Because of his prodigious talent, throughout his career he often received community support. He participated in the Hoosier Salons in 1929, 1931, and 1934 and the 2nd Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Negro Art in San Diego. He exhibited with the Harmon Foundation from 1927-31 and in 1933—the same year he won first prize for an oil portrait and Outstanding Painting prize at the Indiana State Fair, and the American Negro Exposition (Chicago, 1940). He also exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in 1929. In 1927, Hardrick’s work was included in an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, “The Negro in Art Week”, sponsored by the Chicago Women’s Club. His most well known work, Little Brown Girl, was purchased by a group of Indianapolis African-American citizens and donated to the John Herron Art Institute, and is now in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Salt Lick Creek—Brown County and Blue Lagoon are both in the collection of the Indiana State Museum (illustrated in Against the Odds, African-American Artists and the Harmon Foundation, Gary Reynolds and Beryl Wright, 1989, catalog accompanying the exhibition originating from The Newark Museum).

REF: A Shared Heritage: Art by Four African Americans , catalog to the exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, by Harriet Warkel and Bill Taylor. 1996.


John Wesley Hardrick (1891-1968) 514 Portrait of Mrs. Lionel F. Artis c. 1935 oil on board signed 38” x 28” $12,000-16,000 Exhibitions: Dixon Museum, Memphis, Augusta Savage’s Gamin, January 19-March 23, 2014.

Lionel Artis and his wife were civic leaders in Indianapolis from the 1930s-60s. Lionel was the first African American to be appointed to a policy-making municipal agency in the city and was an important figure in the development of public housing and the Flanner House Community Center. The Artis’ helped organize rotating art exhibits for African American artists at the downtown YMCA.


Charles Teenie Harris (1908-1998) Charles Harris was born in Pittsburgh, the son of hotel owners. He became interested in photography in the 1930s, and bought his first camera and opened a photography studio. He first delved into photojournalism by contributing freelance to a Washington, DC based news-picture magazine called Flash! in the 1930s. From 1936 until 1975, he chronicled everyday life in black neighborhoods for the Pittsburgh Courier (one of the country’s oldest black newspapers). Harris was a working class photographer, who rarely traveled to other places or took artistic studio shots—rather, he captured daily activities of people where they lived. He did capture images of many celebrities when they visited Pittsburgh, and he also photographed legendary Negro League baseball players of the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords. Harris himself played for the Crawfords. He was frequently known as “One-Shot Harris” because of his spontaneous style of photography. REF: One-Shot: The Life and Work of Teenie Harris , documentary (film); 2001, produced by Kenneth Love. Reflections in Black: Smithsonian African American Photography, The First 100 Years, 1840 to the Present, Deborah Willis, 2012 (catalog accompanying the exhibition)

573 Homestead Grays Baseball Game c. 1940 gelatin silver print 14" x 11 $600-800 78 

Charles Teenie Harris (1908-1998)



Portrait of a Coal Miner

Men Playing Checkers

c. 1940 gelatin silver print 11” x 14”

c. 1940 gelatin silver print 11” x 14”



Exhibitions: “Reflections in Black: Smithsonian African American Photography, The First 100 Years, 1842-1942”, April 5, 2001-June 3, 2001, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine.


Darnell Harris (b. 1949) 543 Abstract Figure

Darnell Harris studied sculpture at the Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, OH) through 1972. He worked in various mediums, but his talent was most evident in his sculpture created of stone, because of the inherent difficulty in working with the medium. Rather than resisting the material, Harris undertook a more cooperative approach, and the result produced striking images that were simple, subtle, and powerful. Although highly abstracted, his work is mostly figurative. These three examples are from the estate of fellow Columbus artist and photographer, James Valentine.

c. 1973 carved limestone 18.5”h on a wooden plinth 2”h (additional) x 9.5”l x 2.75”d $1,000-2,000

544 Abstract Dancers c. 1973 carved limestone 17.5” high on a wooden plinth 2.5”h (additional) x 14.75”l x 5”d $1,000-2,000


Darnell Harris (b. 1949)

542 Woman c. 1973 carved limestone Identified on original label, “Darnell Harris: Loan from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. James Valentine, Columbus, OH” 24” h on wooden plinth, 5.5”h (additional) x 11”l x 11” d $3,000-5,000 Provenance: The estate of James Valentine


Palmer Hayden (1890-1973) Palmer Hayden was born in Virginia in 1890. He moved to Washington D.C. as a teen, worked odd jobs and eventually joined the Ringling Bros. Circus, which is where he made his first foray into art, drawing portraits of the performers for promotional literature. He served an eight year stint in the Army, joining the army’s all-black Company A, 24th Infantry Regiment. It was at this time that his named changed from Peyton C. Hedgeman to Palmer C. Hayden. There are two slightly different accounts as to how this happened. According to A History of African American Artists: 1792 to the Present, the timekeeper at his last job wrote a letter of reference and mistakenly put down his name as Palmer Hayden. Hayden was too afraid to ask him to write another letter so he presented himself to the army recruiter as Palmer Hayden. In Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America, David Driskell said his white commanding sergeant gave him the name by mispronouncing his real name. In any case, he called himself Palmer Hayden from this time forward and legally changed his name around nine years later. After his first four years, he re-enlisted and was assigned to the 10th Calvary at West Point. He was not a cadet. His primary responsibility was taking care of the horses the cadets used to learn to ride on. He also enrolled in a correspondence drawing course at this time, spending $10 per month on tuition, out of his $18 per month salary. After his time in the Army, he moved to New York City, where he had the good fortune to study with Victor Perard, an instructor at the Cooper Union School of Art. During the summers of 1926 and 1927, he traveled to Maine to study at the Commonwealth Art Colony. The many landscapes and marine studies he painted here were shown in his first exhibition at the Civic Club in New York, and in 1926, he won the first Harmon Foundation gold medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Visual Arts for a painting of Booth Bay Harbor, titled, “The Schooners”. The prize money helped contribute to his trip to France where he resided for the next five years. He exhibited at Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in 1927 and was included in the Salon des Tuileries in 1930, as well as the American Legion Exhibition in 1931. Hayden continued to paint seascapes during his stay, but also began to develop his figurative painting and signature style, which remains controversial to this day. When he returned to New York his work evolved into an unpretentious representation of the black American scene in which he used a “consciously naïve” style to represent African-American folklore and contemporary scenes of Harlem. He continued to live and work in New York until his death in 1973. Michie Stadium, West Point is a painting that recalls his time at West Point. Michie Stadium was built in 1924, so Hayden was likely greatly impressed by the new facility and he would have also likely cared for the Army mascot, a mule—who appears prominently in at least two works by the artist of this subject. Hayden also includes two African American cadets prominently in the foreground in this version. The work is not dated, but it has the feel of a mature, experienced artist in its advanced composition and sure execution. It is likely Hayden recalling his time there as a younger man, because it is very unlikely the artist would have been sufficiently skilled to accomplish this work in the 1920s.


Palmer Hayden (1890-1973)

528 Michie Stadium, West Point, c. 1950 watercolor on paper signed and titled 18” x 23.5” $20,000-30,000


Will Harvey Hunt (b. 1910)

Born in Indianapolis in 1910, Will Harvey Hunt studied at the John Herron School under William Forsyth, Donald Magnus Mattison, and Henrik Martin Mayer. He exhibited at the Hoosier Salon in 1935, 1936, and 1938. His painting, Tornado won the “Outstanding Picture of the Exhibition” prize (or the John C. Schaffer Prize of $500) in the 1935 show. The same year Hunt won the Mary Milliken Award at the John Herron Art School for The Kitchen. His work can be found in the collection of Northwestern University, Chicago. Hunt’s work was included in the exhibit “Indiana Realities, Regionalist Paintings 1930-1945” from the Robert L. and Ellie E. Haan Collection at the Indiana State Museum in 2011.


Will Harvey Hunt (b. 1910)

578 Coal Miners c. 1940 oil on masonite signed; inscribed, titled, dated verso 24” x 18” $9,000-12,000 Exhibitions: Dixon Museum, Memphis, Augusta Savage’s Gamin, January 19-March 23, 2014.


Wadsworth Jarrell (b. 1931) Wadsworth Jarrell was born in Albany, Georgia. By the time he was school-age, his family had moved to Athens (GA). Athens was still a fairly small, segregated city, and the community of approximately 3,000 blacks strove to support one another. Wadsworth was interested—and talented—in art at an early age, and his parents withstood “healthy” skepticism to support him in this endeavor. His father was a furniture maker, and Wadsworth considered him to be an artist. When Wadsworth finished high school, he enlisted in the army and trained at Camp Polk in Louisiana. He acted as the company artist, making signs, maps and charts. He served his last six months in Korea. Upon returning from overseas, Jarrell moved to Chicago and enrolled in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1954-58). In the early 1960s, he was exhibiting his work throughout the Midwest and enjoying a strong measure of local success. The works included in this sale date from the mid-1960s, and are typical in style and subject matter of that period of his work. (REF: “Shamrock Inn”, 1962, illus. p.6 in Wadsworth Jarrell, The Artist as Revolutionary, Robert Douglas, 1996.) In the mid 1960’s, following tumultuous local racial violence, Jarrell became involved in the Organization of Black American Culture, and befriended artist Jeff Donaldson, whom he had met years earlier. Together in 1967, they created “The Wall of Respect”, a mural depicting African-American heroes.  For his part, he focused on rhythm and blues, featuring portrayals of James Brown, B.B. King, Billie Holiday, Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, and Dinah Washington.  Around 1967, he and his wife Jae, opened WJ Studio and Gallery, where he hosted regional artists and musicians.  His gallery became an important focal point for African-American art in Chicago . Shortly after, he co-founded COBRA (Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists), whose platform became an integral part of the artistic style Jarrell adopted: their artwork was to act as a visual statement focusing on a central figure, profound and proud; secondly, the artwork must be readily understood, so lettering would be used to extend and clarify the message— and it must be incorporated into the composition; thirdly, the message must identify a problem and offer a solution; and finally, it must educate within a perspective of time (history). Eventually, the group chose to expand to an international platform, and changed their name to AFRI-COBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists). The group showed extensively, becoming known for sociopolitical themes as subject matter and the use of “coolade colors.” Jarrell continues to explore the contemporary African-American experience through paintings, sculptures, and prints.  His work is found at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the High Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the University of Delaware.


Wadsworth Jarrell (b. 1931)

586 Bar Scene c. 1965 oil on canvas signed and dated lower right 28” x 49.5” $3,000-5,000


Wadsworth Jarrell (b. 1931)

589 Bar Scene c. 1965 oil on canvas signed lower left 26.5” x 24” $3,000-5,000


588 Pitts Pub c. 1960-1970 oil on canvas signed lower right 40" x 34" $3,000-5,000

Wadsworth Jarrell (b. 1931)

587 Jazz Musicians c. 1965 oil on canvas signed and dated lower right 28.5” x 49.5” $3,000-5,000


Oliver Johnson (b. 1948)

Johnson was born in Jacksonville, FL. He had no formal training in art, but showed an early talent for it. In 1977, he was exhibiting at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Art and Cultural Center in Brooklyn. The show was covered by a local television station, where Johnson’s work was spotted by Felice Traylor, a dealer and graphics publisher, and Roland Balay, former president of the Knoedler Gallery in New York City. The two were convinced Johnson had amazing talent, signed him and soon after Johnson had a solo show at the prestigious Wildenstein & Co. Johnson’s works have been included in exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem and Foxglove Gallery, Stroudsberg, PA. Johnson’s works have been acquired by several notable collectors, including Bill Cosby, Malcolm Forbes, David Rockefeller and the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York. (REF: Peg Alston Fine Arts)


Oliver Johnson (b. 1948)

541 Violin Player c. 1984 mixed media on paper signed and dated lower right 26” x 21.5” $1,000-1,500


Rashid Johnson (b. 1977) Rashid Johnson was born in Evanston, Illinois, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College, Chicago. He first received critical attention when his work was included in the exhibition, “Freestyle” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, curated by Thelma Golden in 2001. The same year, two photographs were accepted into the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Exhibitions that followed were, “Chickenbones and Watermelon Seeds: The African American Experience as Abstract Art” in which the artist used stereotypical African American food culture items, placing them on photographic paper and exposing them to light through an iron reactive process. More recently, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 2012, held “Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks”, which was both a retrospective and Johnson’s first major museum solo exhibition. This exhibit recently traveled to the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (at Washington University in St Louis). Johnson uses nearly every medium in his work, and in that way, cleverly avoids limitation. That being said, the majority of his body of work is based in sculpture or photography. The two works here relate to the series, Manumission Papers. (2002), which he exhibited at the Sunrise Museum in Charleston, West Virginia. The exhibit was named for the papers that freed slaves were required to keep to prove their freedom. The exhibition was described as being as much a cultural commentary as an imagery display, and it related to the previous “Chickenbones” exhibit. He geometrically arranged abstractions of feet, hands, and elbows in shapes such as cubes, church windows and ships. This was a considered as study in racial identity because the body parts were not identifiable. REF: Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks, catalog accompanying the exhibit (2012). A similar example is illustrated on p. 80. These works are signed by the artist on the verso, which is rare.


Rashid Johnson (b. 1977)

648 Untitled c. 2002 Van Dyke print - unique edition signed on verso 21.5” x 10” $2,000-4,000

649 Untitled c. 2002 Van Dyke print - unique edition signed on verso 21.5” x 10” $2,000-4,000


Roman Johnson (1917-2005)

Roman Johnson was born Sept 4, 1917 and raised in Columbus, Ohio. As one of six children, Johnson was a sickly child who was encouraged by his mother to draw.  He studied painting formally for two years with African-American artist Cletus Butler, and in 1941 met Ohio-based painter Emerson Burkhart (1905-1969), whose influence and association would prove instrumental to Johnson’s artistic advancement.  For the next six years Burkhart and Johnson worked together painting scenes of eastside Columbus, Ohio.  During this period Burkhart painted his iconic portrait of Roman Johnson entitled The Confused Process of Becoming (1946; collection of Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio).   In 1946 Johnson traveled to New York to study at the Art Students League where he spent ten years, followed by a year in Paris before returning to Columbus.  While in New York, Johnson studied under Edwin Dickinson and Ernest Fiene, and exhibited works at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the National Academy of Design. A statement Johnson wrote for an exhibition when he was 72 summarizes his purpose as an artist: “I do paintings in an effort to enhance or continue the culture of Black people. In the 40s and 50s when I visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York, I never saw any art by or about Blacks.  So I decided to do that.” Johnson received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts Degree from Ohio Dominican College in 1998, and in 2003 was bestowed with the Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts.  Roman Johnson is the subject of Emerson Burkhart’s The Confused Process of Becoming, c. 1946; collection of the Columbus Museum of Art.


Roman Johnson (1917-2005)

Works held: Underground Railroad & Black History Museum, Newark, Ohio; The King Arts Complex, Columbus, Ohio; Flint Institute of the Arts, Flint, Michigan; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio; The South Side Settlement House, Columbus, Ohio; Schumacher Gallery, Capital University, Columbus, Ohio.    Ohio Dominican University held a retrospective solo exhibition of his work in 2003. His work was included in an exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art: People, Places & Things: An African-American Perspective. 1992-93. September 5, 1992-February 28, 1993. REF: Great Lakes Muse: American Scene Painting in the Upper Midwest, 1910-1960: The Inlander Collection in the Flint Institute of Arts, Michael Hall and Pat Glascock Hall, 2003.

Roman Johnson’s, Dad, c. 1939-43; illustrated in Great Lakes Muse: American Scene Painting in the Upper Midwest, 1910-1960: The Inlander Collection in the Flint Institute of Arts, Michael Hall and Pat Glascock Hall, 2003.


Roman Johnson (1917-2005)

Roman Johnson’s, Self-Portrait, c. 1947; collection of the Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Missouri


Roman Johnson (1917-2005)

576 Self-Portrait c. 1940 oil on canvas signed 30.5” x 20” $10,000-15,000 Exhibitions: Dixon Museum, Memphis, Augusta Savage’s Gamin, January 19-March 23, 2014.


Sargent Johnson (1888-1967) Sargent Johnson was best known as a modernist sculptor, influenced by the cultures of Mexico, Latin America, and West Africa. Born in 1887, to a father of Swedish descent and a mother of Cherokee and African American heritage, Johnson and his siblings could have passed for white, but he remained firmly aligned with his African American heritage. In fact, the aim of his art was, according to him, to show African Americans how beautiful they were to themselves. Johnson was orphaned at an early age and sent to live with an uncle, whose wife , May Howard Jackson, happened to be a well-known sculptor of African American portrait busts. He received his first formal art training at the Worcester Art School in Boston, later relocating to the West Coast in 1915, where he studied at the A.W. Best School of Art and the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. He studied with Ralph Stackpole, as well as Benjamin Bufano, whose work influenced his artistic output greatly in the 1920’s. At this time, Johnson’s work consisted of small scale ceramic heads, primarily of children. He became a regular exhibitor in the Harmon Foundation exhibitions between 1926 to 1935. Johnson’s creative output increased dramatically in the 1930’s. He experimented with a variety of material including terra cotta, wood, beaten copper, marble, terrazzo, and porcelain. He also produced prints and gouache drawings. He was employed by the California WPA, eventually becoming a supervisor, where his work took on a monumental scale. He created public sculptures such as a carved redwood organ screen for the California School of the Blind, and exterior low relief friezes and mosaic decorations for the San Francisco Maritime Museum. Johnson also created sculptures for the Golden Gate International Exposition held in 1939 on Treasure Island. In 1944 and 1949 he traveled to Mexico using funds from the Abraham Rosenberg Scholarship, where he studied the culture, ceramics, and sculpture of the region. While still incorporating the geometric shapes and motifs of indigenous peoples, his work became increasingly more abstract until his death in 1967. In 1970, the Oakland Museum organized the first retrospective of his work, and in 1998, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art held an exhibition entitled, “Sargent Johnson: African American Modernist.” His work may be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


Sargent Johnson (1888-1967)

546 Lovers c. 1935-1940 terra cotta signed 4” x 5.5” x 3” $15,000-20,000


Frederick D. Jones, Jr. (1914-2004)

Painter and printmaker, Frederick D. Jones, Jr. studied at Clark University in Atlanta and later at the Art Institute of Chicago with George Neal, the first African-American to teach at the institute, and Eldzier Cortor. He is best known for his numerous paintings of jazz figures, including Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, and Pee Wee Russell. He exhibited at the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago, and widely in the South throughout the 1940’s. In 1943, he won the purchase award in 1943 at Atlanta University. Jones worked for a time with Hale Woodruff while in Georgia. He exhibited at Atlanta University, 1942 and 1943; Xavier University, 1963; and the Art Institute of Chicago, 1946-49 and 1951. His work can be found in the collections of Atlanta University and the Evans-Tibbs Collection in Washington D.C. REF: Tradition Redefined, The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African American Art, Brenda Thompson, American Negro Art, Cedric Dover.


Frederick D. Jones, Jr. (1914-2004)

624 Two Women in a Surrealist Interior c. 1950 oil on masonite signed lower right 16.5” x 13.5” $3,000-5,000


Frederick D. Jones, Jr. (1914-2004)

533 Harlequin with Accordion c. 1960 watercolor signed lower left 11.5” x 8.5” $400-600


Frederick D. Jones, Jr. (1914-2004)

623 Circus Scene c. 1940 oil on board signed lower right 11.5” x 15.5”, held in frame created by the artist $3,500-5,500  


Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998)

Lois Mailou Jones was born in Boston, MA. In a career that spanned seven decades, her paintings represented a variety of artistic techniques and themes as her style evolved. Her work remained consistent in her thoughtful use of color and strong sense of design, both of which were instilled in her through her extensive education at institutions such as the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, the Boston Normal Art School, and the Designer’s Art School of Boston. Early in her career, she was influenced by the Harlem Renaissance, like so many other artists of her generation. She was one of the first African American women to use African themes in her work. Jones joined the faculty of Howard University in 1930 and taught there until she retired in 1977. Jones spent a year on sabbatical in Paris in 1937, and returned over many summers. Much of her subject matter consists of European scenes. During the 1940’s, she adopted a brighter color palette and painted emotionally provocative subjects that reflected the personal circumstances of African Americans. From the 1950’s onward, her work became abstract depictions of the Haitian and African cultures of which she became immersed. She married Haitian artist Louis Vergniaud Pierre-Noel in 1953. Her work may be found in the collections of Howard University, Atlanta University, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Phillips Collection, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.


Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998)

617 Young Boy with a Burning Cross in the Background c. 1940 oil on canvasboard signed 14” x 10” $1,000-2,000


Paul Keene (1920-2009)

Paul Keene had a strong, traditional, education in art: he studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, the Tyler School of the Arts, Académie Julian, and Temple University. In African American Art and Artists, by Samella Lewis, she describes a similar image by Keene: “In Garden of Shango one experiences a variation of geometric shapes in which design plays an essential role. The dynamism inherent in traditional African sculpture is felt in the pulsating motion created by the arrangements of shape and color. The life-giving force generated by the circular symbol penetrates every area of the composition, thereby creating a strong sense of energy.” (p.154) The image here, Jazz Band, is handled much the same way as Lewis describes Garden of Shango. The aurae surrounding the figures punctuates the energy of the music they play—without any sound—Keene has turned up the volume. Beyond the specific subject matter, Keene’s strong sense of design is apparent. Keene served in the Army Air Corp from 1941-45 as a second lieutenant. He taught art at the Philadelphia College of Art (1954-68). He was awarded a John H. Whitney fellowship (1952-54), Temple University Award (1967). In describing his work and process, Keene says: “Happenings on paper or canvas are predictable up to a critical point for me. Beyong this, intuition and instinct take over…For me subject matter simply becomes a vehicle used to help discover the mystery. Then the idea becomes the mystery that must be made real; it is the means by which I render some of what I assume I know with the unknown. I hang on and take the wild ride.” (REF: St James Guide to Black Art, Thomas Riggs, p. 298.


Paul Keene (1920-2009)

511 Jazz Band c. 1970 color lithograph signed and numbered in pencil, edition of 80 21.25” x 29.5” $300-500


Beni E. Kosh (1917-1993)

Born in 1917, Charles Elmer Harris changed his name to Beni E. Kosh in the 1960’s. His name translates to “Son of Ethiopia.” He was based in Cleveland and studied under Paul Travis at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Kosh was also affiliated with both the Sho-Nuff Art Group and the Karamu House. The Sho-Nuff Art Group was a group of seven African American artists working in Cleveland; the Karamu House was founded in 1927 as The Playhouse Settlement by Rowena and Russell Jelliffes. It’s name was later changed to “Karamu”, which is Swahili for “a place of joyful meeting”. Its mission was to establish interracial harmony and aid in the advancement of black artists. Other artists who worked at Karamu included Charles Sallee, Jr., Hughie Lee-Smith, Elmer Brown, William E. Smith, Fred Carlo, Curtis Tann and Rozell Ingram. Kosh rarely exhibited or sold his work while he was alive. Fortunately, his work was “rediscovered” days after his death when hundreds of paintings were rescued, catalogued, and sold. He has been included in shows at Cleveland State University, Butler Institute of American Art, and the Riffe Gallery. He was also featured in the catalog, Yet We Still Rise, African-American Art in Cleveland, 1920-1970 , Cleveland State University (1996). In 1995, Steven Litt, writing for the Plain Dealer, describes Kosh’s work: “Harris at his best was a powerful artist with a keen eye and a knack for painting both abstractions and representational imagery...His identity as an African American comes through strongly not only in his choice of neighborhood scenes but in the inspiration he drew from African art and from contemporary African American artists including (Jacob) Lawrence.”


Beni E. Kosh (1917-1993)

637 Abstraction 636 Abstraction c. 1965 oil on board signed and dated lower left 16” x 11.5”

c. 1952 oil on board signed and dated lower right 7.75” x 11.75” $300-500



Hughie Lee-Smith (1915-1999) Born in Eustis, Florida in 1915 and raised in both Atlanta and Cleveland, Ohio, Hughie Lee-Smith knew from an early age that art was his mission. His mother encouraged his talent by enrolling him in an art class for gifted students at the Cleveland Museum of Art. At 20, Lee-Smith won a Scholastic magazine competition that allowed him to study at the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. He also studied art at The Cleveland Institute of Art in 1938, art education at Wayne State University in 1952 and 1953, as well as theater and dance. Throughout his career, he taught at several distinguished institutions including the Karamu House, Cleveland in the late 1930’s, Princeton Country Day School, NJ, 1963-65, Howard University, Washington D.C., 1969-71, the Art Student’s League, NYC, 1972-1987, and elsewhere. In 1938-39, Lee-Smith was employed by the Ohio Works Progress Administration. At this time, he did a series of lithographic prints and painted murals at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois. The Cleveland Museum recognized him for drawing in 1938 and for lithographs in 1939-40. His early works were shown mostly in Chicago and Detroit, at the South Side Community Art Center, the Snowdon Gallery, and the Detroit Artist’s Market. Despite many accolades and awards throughout his career, Lee-Smith did not enjoy a major solo exhibition of his work until 50 years after he began painting. His first retrospective was held at the New Jersey State Museum, Trenton in 1988. Just two years before his death, he was featured at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in Maine. In 1994, he was commissioned to paint the official City Hall portrait of former mayor David Dinkins. He died in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1999 after a long illness. His work can be found in many major collections including the South Side Community Art Center, Chicago; Howard University; the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Wayne State University.


Hughie Lee-Smith (1915-1999)

512 Portrait of a Woman c. 1970 monotype signed lower right 13” x 9.5” $1,000-1,500


Samella Lewis (b. 1924)

Samella Lewis believes her art should be telling of her personal experiences as well as comment on what she has learned from history. She believes it should be readily understood by the viewer and possibly helpful in understanding what life will bring in the future—both to herself and the viewer. Samella Lewis was born in New Orleans and studied Dillard University in New Orleans and Hampton Institute (University). At Dillard, she met Elizabeth Catlett and Charles White. Eventually she completed her degree in 1945 at Hampton. She began teaching at Morgan State University (Baltimore) in 1950 while still finishing her PhD at Ohio State University. In Now Dig This! Art & Black Los Angeles, Naima J. Keith states, “As an artist, Lewis is best known for her figurative works on paper and many series of lithographs and screen prints that are pictorial manifestations of the age of civil rights and black liberation.” In the 1960s and 70s, Lewis became a significant force in the art scene in Los Angleles, and ultimately, across the nation. She acted as education coordinator at the LACMA, and after that, founded the Museum of African American Art (L.A.), where she served as chief curator until 1986. She also taught at Scripps College in Claremont, CA and was the first tenured African American faculty member. Lewis wrote several books on African American art, including: Black Artists on Art, with Ruth Waddy, and African American Art and Artists.


Samella Lewis (b. 1924)

515 Cleo c. 1996 lithograph signed, titled and dated in pencil, AP 27” x 20”

535 Portrait of a Young Woman in Hat c. 1985 oilstick on paper signed “S. Lewis” and dated ‘85 lower left 16.5” x 13.5” $1,500-2,000

$1,000-1,500 Provenance: The estate of Varnette P. Honeywood, Los Angeles  


Frank Neal (b. 1915) Neal worked as a painter and dancer in Chicago in 1940. He was a founding member of the South Side Community Art Center and participated in the first exhibition held there, “Negro Artists of Chicago”. He exhibited at Howard University and Atlanta University in the 1940s, and at the Albany Institute of History and Art, “The Negro Artist Comes of Age” (1945). REF: The Flowering: African-American Artists and Friends in 1940s Chicago: A Look at the South Side Community Art Center. April 7-May 28, 1993. Illinois State Museum.


Frank Neal (b. 1915)

583 Artists and Models Ball c. 1940 oil on canvas signed 18” x 24” $2,500-3,500


George E. Neal (1906-1938)

Described as an “able figurative painter” whose work did not achieve much critical notice, George Neal was, however, revered as an educator, and his influence was carried on by such students as Charles White, Eldzier Cortor, Margaret Burroughs, and Charles Davis. Neal worked as a sign painter and illustrator while teaching classes at the South Side Settlement House. In 1932, he gathered his most promising young students into a group called the Art Crafts Guild. He was known for taking his students out of the classroom and into the streets of Bronzeville to paint the people and the places. After his death in 1938, he was hailed by the Chicago Defender as “the foremost Race art instructor in the city.” His work was part of the exhibition, Convergence: Jewish and African American Artists in Depression Era Chicago, held in 2008 at the Koehnline Museum of Art, IL .


George E. Neal (1906-1938)

607 Woman c. 1937 charcoal on paper signed and dated lower right 5.75” x 5.25” $300-500


William Etienne Pajaud (b. 1925)

Pajaud was born in New Orleans and lived there until he finished the ninth grade. Even though he was young, his experiences in that city shaped his subject matter as a painter later in his life. Pajaud moved with his mother to Chattanooga for a year, and there he experienced a racially motivated beating. A year later, his mother landed a teaching job at Texas College, so they moved, once again, to Tyler, TX. Just a teenager, Pajaud was subjected to another racially motivated act of violence. Later he commented that his art was a reaction to how a person copes with these kinds of challenges experienced throughout his life. Pajaud earned a BFA from Xavier University in New Orleans. Eventually he moved to Los Angeles in 1948, and enrolled at the Chouinard Art Institute. He exhibited in the 1950s-60s, he exhibited at Heritage Gallery, Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Esther Robles Gallery. He also participated in a co-op group known as Eleven Associated. The artists, including Beulah Woodard, Alice Gafford, and Curtis Tann who rented a space on South Hill Street in an attempt to gain more visibility for their work. The group, while historically significant, did not last long. Pajaud was appointed as an art director for Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1957, the largest African American-owned business in Los Angeles. Golden State was known for supporting African American artists, and Pajaud also convinced them to build an impressive collection of African American art. Pajaud exhibited at the LACAM, Pasadena Art Museum, deYoung Art Museum (San Francisco), Atlanta University, University of Iowa, Crocker Gallery (Sacramento), to name a few, and continues to work in Los Angeles.


William Etienne Pajaud (b. 1925)

534 Portrait of a Woman c. 2004 oil on canvasboard signed and inscribed: “To Varnette with much love” and dated ‘04 on verso 10” x 8” $1,000-2,000 Provenance: The estate of Varnette P. Honeywood, Los Angeles


Gordon Parks (1912-2006)

Gordon Parks bought his first camera at the age of 25. He was working as a dining car waiter for a railroad company, and was taken by the photos in magazines left behind by the passengers—specifically, the images of “men, women, and children caught in their confusion and poverty” taken by Roy Stryker’s team of photographers working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). His first show was at the South Side Community Center in Chicago, and included various local images, and was titled the South-side Series. His efforts won him a Julius Rosenwald fellowship, which he used to go to Washington, D.C. to work with Stryker and the FSA. In 1944, he made portraits of famous African Americans, including Langston Hughes, Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, and Richard Wright, for Edwin Embree’s book, Thirteen Against the Odds. The FSA was ended at the beginning of WWII, so Parks moved to the Office of War Information, and shortly after, to work for the Standard Oil Company, where Stryker was heading up a photography project. The oil company thought it would boost public opinion of their operations by documenting it with photography and making it available to view. These images were taken in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, where Standard Oil was investing in mines. Parks was surprised that racial prejudices were as prevalent in remote parts such as these as they were in big cities. When his stint with Standard Oil ended, Parks landed a full-time position at Life magazine. He was their first black photographer. Eventually, in 1968, Parks directed an autobiographical movie titled, The Learning Tree. It was the first Hollywood production directed by an African American.


Gordon Parks (1912-2006)

565 Prospectors


c.1945 vintage photograph 9” x 9”

Canadian Pacific Airliner


c. 1945 vintage photograph 9.5” x 9.25” $1,000-2,000


James Parks (b. 1907)

Parks was born in St Louis, and studied at Bradley University and the University of Iowa (under Philip Guston and Jean Charlot), 1943. He served as head of the art department at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO. He exhibited with the Harmon Foundation, 1929; St Louis Art Museum, 1946, Atlanta University (1940s-50s), Kansas City Museum, 1950, Tuskegee Institute, 1967, and Howard University, 1961, and elsewhere. His work is in the collections of Howard University, Atlanta University, University of Iowa, Lincoln University, and the Springfield (Missouri) Art Museum. ( REF: AfroAmerican Artists, Cederholm, American Negro Art, Dover.

James Parks with Thomas Hart Benton at Lincoln University 122 

James Parks (b. 1907)

603 Day Dreaming c. 1940 oil on canvasboard signed lower right, titled on verso 27.5” x 21.5” $3,000-5,000


James Phillips (b. 1945)

Phillips graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art and was associated with the AfriCobra and Weusi groups in the late 1960s. In New york, he became acquainted with several popular jazz musicians, who inspired him to mimic the rhythms and moods within the music in his own art. Taliza Fleming writes of a work by Phillips: “As evidenced in his 1966 painting The Dealer, Phillips began to incorporate jarring color combinations, sporadic zigzagging forms, and writhing compositions that alter the perception of reality. In similar fashion to the musical free jazz style of John Coltrane—an artist with whom Phillips was acquainted—The Dealer displays striking features of improvisation, layered rhythmic patterning, and violent bursts of colorful forms and accents.” REF: Narratives of African American Art and Identity, The David C. Driskell Collection, p130. Phillips was an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (1971-72). He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Howard University, American Center (Tokyo), and The Children’s Museum, New York as a solo artist; and in group shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Kenkeleba House (NYC), and the Selma Burke Center (Pittsburgh). His work is included in the collections of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State office, NY, Hall of Justice (San Fransico), Fisk University Museum, Howard University, and the Schomburg Center (NY). Regina Holden Jennings writes in St James Guide to Black Artists about Phillips work: “It was in the late 1970s and early 1980s that Phillips’ paintings became architectonic and grid based. In these hard-edged geometric compositions his African signs and symbols remain intact, and his painting style and technique are more calculated. The grids on the painting are obvious. At first glance shapes and patterns that are arranged asymmetrically appear to be random and non-repeating, but further examination reveals a deliberate, conscious, and well-balanced configuration. “ (p.415)


James Phillips (b. 1945)

646 Macombo c. 1980 oil on canvas signed lower left 28” x 23.75” $1,000-2,000 Provenance: The estate of Varnette P. Honeywood, Los Angeles


David Philpot (b. 1940)

Self-taught Chicago folk artist known for his elaborate staffs that he carves from the wood of the ailanthus tree. Each one is created with intricate relief designs and uniquely embellished with various decorative elements. Philpot began carving staffs in 1971. He was inspired by watching the character of Moses in the movie, The Ten Commandments. His work has been featured in many exhibitions throughout his 40 year career. His staffs recall ceremonial African staffs, and the artist explains that carving “is a way for me to not only reclaim my cultural heritage but to establish a place for myself as a respected American artist.” Philpot lived in Chicago until 2012, when he got married and moved to Detroit. “I am inspired by patterns - geometric and abstract - in nature, wood, water, built structures, art, and fabrics. I am inspired by shapes, rhythms, and God. I am inspired by the staff as a symbol of ancestral legacy and a talisman in all cultures. Staffs have both spiritual symbolism and practical purpose.” This untitled work consists of four distinctive staffs combined by a single theme, and thus, mounted and displayed together. It would be completely acceptable to disassemble the mounting and use the staffs, as the artist encourages people to hold them and enjoy the tactile nature of the material as well as the composition.


David Philpot (b. 1940)

643 Untitled Staffs c. 1987-1989 wood, leather, braid and gems 90” x 70” $500-700


Rose Piper (1917-2005) Rose Piper was born in New York in 1917, and spent nearly the entirety of her long and varied career there, beginning with her education at Hunter College (she was awarded a four year scholarship at Pratt Institute but her father believed Pratt was not really a college), and then at the Art Student’s League, studying under Vaclav Vytacil and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Piper was the recipient of two prestigious Rosenwald Fellowships (1946 and 1948) which allowed her to travel to Paris for further study, and the southern United States. Her first solo exhibition at the Roko Gallery (New York) featured the results of this travel, 14 paintings based on Negro folk songs and blues songs that she had researched. The success of this show led her to be included in the 7th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Negro Art sponsored by Atlantic University in 1948. Her painting, Grievin’ Hearted took first place and a cash prize of $300. She also exhibited at the ACA Gallery, and ran in the circle of artists which included Romare Bearden, Charles Alston, Norman Lewis, and a young Jacob Lawrence. Piper experienced tremendous internal pressure due to the conflict between maintaining a “proper” home and raising her child and her creative drive and longing to work as an artist. “Piper’s awareness that she had internalized the pressure to stay home, together with her refusal to give in to that pressure, was mirrored in her work by her refusal to maintain the “proper” degree of feminine middle-class distance from erotic subject matter. The expressive realism of the images in her first solo show…were based not only on veiled resistance to white economic domination chronicled in the lyrics of Negro work songs, but also on the taboo topic of female eroticism, which was made explicit in the tradition of women blues singers like Bessie Smith’s, “I’m Wild About That Thing” and “Empty Bed Blues”.” “Some of her paintings, such as Slow Down Freight Train , 1947—after Trixie Smith’s song “Freight Train Blues”—show Alston’s influences in the elongated necks, the horizontal ovoids of the head, and in the rounded geometry of the stylized body.” A critic for Art Digest wrote, “As paintings, the pictures are strong, affirmative, sound in composition and moodily emotional in color…The recent pictures are strong, flat, semi-abstract compositions, simple in design and somewhat mournful in their color harmonies.” (Abstract Expressionism Other Politics, Ann Eden Gibson, 1997). Piper was forced to cut short her career as a painter to focus on providing a stable income for her family. She became a successful textile designer and owned a greeting card company until her retirement in 1980 when she returned to painting. Throughout her career, her work has ranged stylistically from abstract expressionist to representational.


Rose Piper (1917-2005) Bessie Smith wrote the song “Young Woman’s Blues” in 1926. Woke up this mornin’ when chickens was crowin’ for day Felt on the right side of my pilla’, my man gad gone away By this pilla’ he left a note readin’, “I’m sorry, Jane, you got my goat No time to marry, no time to settle down” I’m a young woman and ain’t done runnin’ ‘round I’m a young woman and ain’t done runnin’ ‘round Some people call me a hobo, some call me a bum Nobody knows my name, nobody knows what I’ve done I’m as good as any woman in your town I ain’t no high yeller, I’m a deep killer of brown I ain’t gonna marry, ain’t gonna settle down I’m gonna drink good moonshine and rub these browns down See that long lonesome road Lawd, you know it’s gotta and I’m a good woman and I can get plenty men

529 Young Woman’s Blues c. 1947 oil on canvas signed; titled and dated on label verso 25” x 30” $20,000-30,000  


Rose Piper (1917-2005)

530 Gathering Sunbeams c. 1978 ink on paper signed and dated lower left 17” x 13.5” $1,800-2,500


Rose Piper (1917-2005)

531 Self Portrait as a Young Stylist c. 1978 ink on paper signed and dated lower left 17" x 13.5" $1,800-2,500



Carl Pope (b. 1961) Carl Pope’s artistic practice is committed to the idea of art as a catalyst for individual and collective transformation. His photographic and multi media investigations of the socio-economic landscape of Indianapolis earned critical acclaim at prestigious venues like the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. The installation “The Black Community: An Ailing Body” received support from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts in 1993. Pope frequently works in large-scale public art and collaborates with communities and cities to stimulate public dialogue and revitalization. He expanded his public art practice with projects in Hartford, Ct, Atlanta and New York for “Black Male” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1996, Pope produced Palimpsest, a video/ writing project. Palimpsest, commissioned by the Wadsworth Athenaeum with grants from the Warhol and Lannan foundations, was included in the Whitney Biennial 2000 exhibition. Pope’s most recent installation of letterpress posters called The Bad Air Smelled of Roses explores the concept of Phenomenology as seen in the writings of Martin Heidigger, a German philosopher of the early 20th century. Pope uses the medium of letterpress posters because they represent a presumptuous idea--they seem official. People look at the printed posters as a source of information and even direction. What Pope offers, however, is misdirection , so the viewer is required to reconsider. Another artist who explores phenomenology in a similar fashion is Shepard Fairey, with his OBEY THE GIANT propaganda campaign. Fairey created a fictional, but official-looking image, presented via stickers and graffiti pasters, in an attempt to unbalance the viewer and provoke reflection. Most of Pope’s subject matter, or what he might be inclined to call, “anti-subject matter” is concerned with his identity as an African American. Borrowing from the writings of Alain Locke (The New Negro, 1925) and Hubert Harrison (The Voice) and his “New Negro Movement”, Pope questions the role and identity of the African American today. He accomplishes this, not by offering solutions or presupposed identities, but by questioning everything and being provocative---and then as Heidigger explained the usefulness of Phenomenology, “letting things manifest themselves”. Some people might find several of the messages offensive, but Pope challenges them to question the very perspective from which that reaction emanates.


Carl Pope (b. 1961)

647 The Bad Air Smelled of Roses c. 2005 lot of four letterpress posters on card stock signed, unframed 19” x 14” ; 22” x 14” $600-800  


Charles Ethan Porter (1847-1923)

One of the finest painters of fruit and floral still life compositions in America during the nineteenth century, Charles Ethan Porter, was the first African American admitted into the National Academy of Design in New York. Porter also studied at L’École des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, 1881, where he began exploring Impressionism and landscape painting. Until the very end of his career, Porter had been able to support himself with his earnings as an artist.  However, according to the Hartford Black History Project, Porter shared a studio in Rockville, Connecticut with Bavarian artist Gustave Hoffman, who sold Porter’s paintings door-to-door because people would not buy art from a black artist.  Porter died poor and in relative obscurity. It is likely that this example is an early example of his landscape painting, done before he went to France, between 1870-1880. In 1987, Connecticut Gallery organized a retrospective which secured Porter’s rightful place into the history of American art. A traveling retrospective of Charles Ethan Porter’s work was organized by Hildegard Cummings and the New Britain Museum of American Art in 2008.

REF: Charles Ethan Porter, African-American Master of Still Life, New Britain Museum of American Art, Hildegard Cummings, 2007.


Charles Ethan Porter (1847-1923)

540 Landscape c. 1870-1880 oil on canvas signed lower right 16” x 20” $3,000-5,000


James Porter (1905-1970)

Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1905, James A. Porter became known as an accomplished artist, art historian, and educator. After receiving his degree from Howard University, he remained there to teach. Throughout his academic career he continued to paint and exhibit. Porter used a combination of techniques from fauvism and expressionism. He was also known for his portraits of notable African Americans. In 1933, he received the Schomburg Portrait Prize for his painting, Woman Holding a Jug. Published in 1943, his book Modern Negro Art was a valuable encyclopedia of African American artists and their contributions to the arts and humanities. His work may be found in the collections of Howard University; Hampton Institute; and Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO.


James Porter (1905-1970)

536 Landscape c. 1940 oil on board signed lower right 8” x 9.5” $1,500-2,000


Winfred Rembert (b. 1945) Rembert grew up in Cuthbert, Georgia, spending much of his childhood laboring in cotton fields. He was arrested in a civil rights protest march in 1965, and held with no charges. As an inmate, he learned how to make tooled leather wallets. He used this experience later in his art: Rembert stretches, stains, and etches on leather creating scenes from the rural Southern town where he was born and raised. Most of his colorful art depicts scenes and themes from African American life in segregated Cuthbert, GA and from the time he spent on those chain gangs. His work was exhibited at the Yale University Art Gallery in 2000 and a triptych about a lynching was acquired by Yale for their permanent collection. Rembert subsequently exhibited at various other venues. His first major catalogued oneman exhibition was presented in New York in 2010 by Adelson Galleries in association with Peter Tillou Works of Art. The leather craft that Winfred Rembert practices is drenched with a symbolism not found on ordinary canvas. The very act of cutting and carving flesh into pattern recalls the violence that permeated his life. Rembert, though, transcends pain to give us a tangible record of his experiences and the people he knows and painstakingly individualizes, even those that crowd his scenes of juke joints and chain gangs. “I’m trying to make these guys look like who they really were,” says Rembert. “I may not remember their names, but I got their faces.” from Winfred Rembert: Amazing Grace (2012), an exhibition at the Hudson River Museum, in Yonkers, NY. “All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert” (


611 Butch Jordan’s Café c. 2000 graphite on paper signed lower right 18” x 19.75” $700-1,000

Winfred Rembert (b. 1945)

644 Turpentine c. 1999 dye on tooled and painted leather signed, titled and dated on verso 33.25” x 22” $3,500-5,000 Provenance: The artist. Other Notes: The artist’s father-in-law gathering turpentine in the Georgia forest: “It was hard work and you had to keep an eye open for rattlesnakes.”


John Thomas Riddle, Jr. (1934-2002)

Los Angeles native John Riddle became known initially for his politically charged works that combined welded steel and debris left from the WATTS riots in 1965 - the purpose for which was to expose the harsh conditions that African Americans lived and labored in South Central L.A. Later in his career, after moving to Atlanta, Georgia, he began to work on low relief assemblages, prints and paintings, which, with their solid color, angular shapes recalled the work of Jacob Lawrence and allowed viewers a glimpse of African American culture. His work may be found in the collections of the Oakland Museum, High Museum of Art, and the California African American Museum. Making Plans Series: Making Plans, 1982 is illustrated in In the Eye of The Muses, Selections from the Clark Atlanta University Art Collection, Tina Dunkley and Jerry Cullum, 2012, plate 131, p. 178.


John Thomas Riddle, Jr. (1934-2002)

596 Making Plans c. 1982 color serigraph pencil signed, dated 1982, and numbered 16/100 in the lower margin 22” x 31.5” $1,000-2,000 Provenance: The estate of Varnette P. Honeywood, Los Angeles


Gregory Ridley (1925-2004) Ridley was born in Smyrna, Georgia. In 1936, his family moved to Nashville. After a stint in the Navy, he enrolled at Fisk University, where he studied under Aaron Douglas, and the two became lifelong friends. Ridley also earned an undergraduate degree from Tennessee State University and a MFA from the University of Louisville. Cedric Dover stated “The ultimate test of any work of art is its value to the society in which it is produced.” Ridley passed that test on all fronts, inspiring generations of students, garnering national recognition, and prompting strong patronage at home and afar.” Ridley’s work is illustrated in Dover’s American Negro Art, pl.72. Ridley told Dover in 1960 he had “already moved into neo-primitivism”. Ridley was a lifelong teacher, accepting a teaching position at Alabama State University the same year he received his master’s degree (1951). Before retiring, he had taught at several southern universities as well as at City University New York. Several works from Ridley’s “Ngere Mask Series” are displayed in the library at Fisk University. Adhering to the philosophy of Alain Locke, by exploring African heritage and designs in contemporary African American art, Ridley executed both paintings and metal repoussé sculptures in this aesthetic, but simultaneously, he was following a mainstream trend in international modern art. William Rubin, of the Museum of Modern Art, illustrated a Ngere Mask in “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern, New York, 1984, (p. 591). The Bambara (or Bamana) people occupy what is mostly Mali in west Africa. Bambara masks are used during rituals of initiation, and in the occasion of other events like weddings, births, circumcisions, deceases, funerals, purifications of objects and beings, etc. Bambara masks receive offerings and sacrifices, and they are even solemnly buried following an appropriate rite when its role of intermediation has ended, and lost their sacred character. In Two Centuries of Black American Art (David Driskell, LACMA, 1976), Ridley’s Ashanti Mask,1964, is illustrated on p 199. This comparable work is in the collection of Department of Art, Fisk University. A work from roughly the same period and style, but a different subject, New York, 1963, is illustrated on p.99 of In the Eye of The Muses, Selections from the Clark Atlanta University Art Collection, Tina Dunkley and Jerry Cullum, 2012.


Gregory Ridley (1925-2004)

602 Bambara Mask c. 1960 oil on canvas signed and dated lower right; signed, titled and dated on verso 42” x 30” $4,000-6,000


Betye Saar (b. 1926)

Saar was born in Los Angeles, and moved with her family to Pasadena in the early 1930s. She first studied design at Pasadena City College and interior design at UCLA. This strong design-centered background would prove to be highly influential in her mature work in fine art. She was close friends with two other L.A. artists, Curtis Tann and William Pajaud. Saar and Tann actually started an enamel design business which was featured in Ebony in 1951. After graduating, from the late 50s through the mid-1960s, Saar was primarily interested in print-making, producing color etchings and intaglio prints. During the turmoil of the 1960s, the Watts riots, the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. , Saar’s work began to shift to collage and assemblage, reclaiming and repurposing personal objects she inherited as well as negatively-charged objects she found at LA flea markets. She believed that a universality of international culture could be connected by reclaiming objects and artifacts from other cultures to be used in her own constructs of perspective. She also attended a retrospective exhibit of Joseph Cornell at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1967. Saar comments: “There has been an apparent thread in my art that weaves from my early prints of the 1960s through later collages and assemblages and ties into the current installations.” “I am intrigued with combining the remnants of memories, fragments of relics, and ordinary objects with the component of technology. It’s a way of delving into the past and reaching into the future simultaneously. The art itself becomes the bridge.” (REF: The St James Guide to Black Artists , p. 464, essay by Jontyle Theresa Robinson). Saar exhibited extensively in the 1970s on, including: Whitney Museum, Wadsworth Athenaeum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, MOCA, Los Angeles, University of Connecticut, Hartford, Santa Monica Museum of Art, National Gallery (Smithsonian Institution), Fresno Center and Museum, etc. Her work is in numerous important public and private collections.


Betye Saar (b. 1926)

632 Untitled c. 1965 color etching signed and dated in pencil in the margin 4” x 5.25” $1,000-1,500


Betye Saar (b. 1926) The exact meaning of the symbolism used in Hoodoo #4 is difficult to determine, but there are some clues: like many of Saar’s works, the foundation is a serving tray (for reference, see Lullaby, 1999, Betye Saar, Extending the Frozen Moment, 2006, University of Michigan Museum of Art, catalog accompanying the exhibit, essay by Sean Ulmer; illus. p. 102), which symbolizes a relationship of servitude. The turtle bears a patchwork heart on its back. According to most Shamanic guides, the symbol of the turtle is the oldest symbol on earth, “the personification of goddess energy and the eternal Earth itself, self-protection through non-violent defense, healing powers of feminine illness, inner knowledge and thought. A painted turtle teaches the power and use of colors.” The title, “Hoodoo” refers to the folk magic developed from West African traditions, and commonly used by slaves in the Mississippi Delta. It is the art of conjuring, and it’s purpose is to improve the daily lives of its practitioners.

527 Hoodoo #4 c. 1992 multi-media assemblage (double-sided) 7.5” x 5.5” $8,000-12,000


Betye Saar (b. 1926) In most cases, this type of symbolism in Saar’s work holds a double-meaning: firstly, it is a reference—to history and tradition—simply, an acknowledgement; secondly, it offers a usefulness. Saar’s reference to conjuring is more about empowerment (for the individual and the artist alike) than it is about magic. Sometimes the answers we seek to our problems are hidden from view, but as Saar suggests, if we rely on our wisdom—wisdom that has been gathered collectively—they may appear to us, as if by magic. She encourages herself, the artist, and the viewer to “conjure” this wisdom. The patchwork heart, painted on the back of the turtle represents the unity of ideas, and in this case, love. The eyes represent omniscience—whether in the form of religion, or simply in the form of a community. The chalkboard side of the work seems to be the “hoodoo spell”—the equation, being worked out like a math problem. There are images of the sun and moon and intersecting lines and arrows.


Walter Sanford (1912-1987) Born in Detroit in 1912, Walter Sanford moved to Chicago to pursue formal art training at the Art Institute of Chicago under Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. He also spent a year at Detroit’s School of Arts and Crafts under John Carroll. Throughout his career he drew much inspiration from Chicago’s South Side, where he resided for many years. Sanford can be counted among the second wave of artists emerging from the Chicago Renaissance between 1941 and 1960. While he embraced a wide range of styles from naturalism to abstraction, he considered himself an abstract expressionist. By the 1950’s, his work was clearly influenced by Picasso. His tenure in Chicago was punctuated by travels to Las Vegas, Mexico, and France. In 1952, he received the Prix de Paris. Later in his career, he established a studio in Chicago where he began working on a series of portraits of real and imaginary figures inspired by the work of Mexican painters David Siqueiros and Diego Rivera. Sanford has exhibited in more than 20 major shows and had more than two dozen solo exhibitions. The diversity of Sanford’s styles is evident across the six works included here, but so is the commonality. All six are solidly rooted in a composition dominated by geometric shapes with black outlines, representing figures or structures.

Susan and Friend, illustrated in American Negro Art, Cedric Dover, p. 173. 148 

Walter Sanford (1912-1987)

580 The Conference c. 1964 oil on masonite signed and dated upper right 30” x 39.5” $3,000-5,000


Walter Sanford (1912-1987)

581 The Dolls c. 1959 oil on board signed and dated lower right, titled and dated on verso 24” x 48” $1,000-2,000


Walter Sanford (1912-1987)



Chicago Street Brawl


c.1945 oil on canvas signed and dated lower right 18” x 16” $1,000-2,000

c. 1962 oil on masonite signed lower right, titled and dated on verso 20.25” x 24.25” $800-1,200


Walter Sanford (1912-1987)

625 INRI c. 1964 oil on masonite signed and dated lower left, titled, signed and dated on verso 60” x 17.5” $2,000-3,000


Walter Sanford (1912-1987)

626 Moondancers c. 1964 oil on masonite signed and dated upper left, signed, titled and dated on verso 24” x 32” $800-1,200


William Edouard Scott (1884-1964)

Born in Indianapolis in 1884, William Edouard Scott became one of the most prolific mural, portrait, and genre artists to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance. After graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago, he traveled to France, where he met and spent time under the tutelage of Henry O. Tanner. Scott enrolled as a student at the Académie Julian, and had works accepted at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Francais in Paris, the second African-American after Tanner to do so. His work in Europe focused on French genre scenes, especially peasant life. When he returned to the States, he applied this French academic tradition to genre scenes painted of southern African Americans. Scott also painted portraits of important African American figures Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, and George Washington Carver and illustrated several covers for The Crisis. Scott accomplished all of these things while supporting himself painting portraits and murals. Woman with a Blue Fan was most likely one of these extraordinary portraits. It was painted on the cusp of another remarkable journey for Scott, for in 1931, he received the Julius Rosenwald Fellowship to study and paint in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He spent over a year here and completed over 144 works depicting peasant life. After his return, he painted murals celebrating African American history and culture.


William Edouard Scott (1884-1964)

577 Backyard c. 1940 oil on canvas signed 25” x 30” $20,000-30,000 Exhibitions: Dixon Museum, Memphis, Augusta Savage’s Gamin, January 19-March 23, 2014.


William Edouard Scott (1884-1964)

Throughout his career, Scott remained devoted to traditional, academic methods of painting and realistic style. His work may be found in the collections of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Du Sable Museum of African American History, the New York Public Library, and Fisk University.

Catalogue Note: Scott executed at least a few versions of this composition with different figures and animals present. Unlike his illustrative work, done for a specific subject, when Scott painted decorative “easel” paintings such as this, his brushwork was much more free, revealing the painterly influence of his friend and mentor, Henry Ossawa Tanner.


William Edouard Scott (1884-1964)

594 Haitian Scene c. 1940 oil on canvas signed 26” x 36” $15,000-25,000


Charles Sebree (1914-1985)

Sebree was born and raised in Kentucky until, at the age of ten, he and his mother became part of the Great Migration north to Chicago. By the age of 14 he was carving out his own rough existence in the midst of the Great Depression. At this time, the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago featured his drawing, Seated Boy on the cover of their magazine. He went on to train formally at the Chicago School of Design and the Art Institute of Chicago and used his interests in European modernism and African sculpture to forge his own individual style; one which evoked a mystical quality similar to old world Byzantine enamels and Russian icon paintings. Between 1936 and 1938 he worked for the WPA easel division, participated in the South Side Community Arts Center, and was involved with the Cube Theater. Sebree maintained a strong interest in the theater due to his friendship with Katherine Dunham. Guided by her influence, he explored set and costume design, theatrical production, writing, and dance, while continuing to paint. Sebree ran with a group of bohemian artists from Chicago and Wisconsin, which included Magic Realist painters Gertrude Abercrombie, John Pratt, John Wilde, Karl Priebe, and others. His work is found in many prominent collections including Howard University, the Smithsonian Institute, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the University of Chicago.


Charles Sebree (1914-1985)

579 Portrait of a Woman c. 1947 oil and mixed media on masonite signed and dated upper left 20.25” x 14.25” $10,000-20,000


Arthur Smith (1917-1982) Art Smith was a Jamaican born in Cuba in 1917. When he was 3 years old, his family immigrated to Brooklyn, NY. He showed artistic prowess while very young, and by the time he had finished high school, he was set on being involved in the arts, although not certain what discipline. He majored in sculpture at the Cooper Union, graduating in 1940. He had been working for the National Youth Administration and Junior Achievement before taking a night course in jewelry-making at New York University. He struck up a friendship with Winifred Mason who had a small jewelry studio and store in Greenwich Village. She became his mentor and hired him as a full time assistant. By 1946, he opened his own studio and shop, selling his pieces there as well as to the many of the exclusive department stores and boutiques of the era. Through his friendship with a young black dancer and choreographer, Tally Beatty, he was introduced to many talented and influential African American artists in the city, including James Baldwin, Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte and painter, Charles Sebree.

“There may be great ups and downs and periods in which I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’ve felt at times I’d rather have a job income, certainly, and less of the problems, but this is what I do.”


Smith’s often accessorized the avant-garde dance troupes of Talley Beatty and Pearl Primus with his work, and the visual demands of creating designs for theater, likely influenced him to begin making pieces on a much larger scale. On several occasions in the 1950s, Smith received pictorial coverage in fashion magazines, such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. His shop was mentioned in The New Yorker’s shopping guide. Smith believed that the wearer was an essential part of his jewelry, equally as important as the copper, silver, or other material component that went into its creation. Smith’s modernist jewelry drew influence from trends in painting and sculpture; surrealism and biomorphism, constructivism and primitivism. He created a wearable art that was just as home in an art gallery as it was in a boutique. In 1969, an exhibition of his work was held at New York’s Museum of Contemporary Crafts. In 1990, “Arthur Smith, A Jeweler’s Retrospective” was held at the Jamaica Arts Center in New York (guest curated by Camille Billops). Most recently, in 2008, the Brooklyn Museum held an exhibition of his work entitled, “From Village to Vogue.”

Arthur Smith (1917-1982)

551 “Half & Half” necklace Brooklyn, NY brass marked 7”w x 8”l This model in silver is in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Art & Design $10,000-12,000

* Each lot is accompanied by one copy of the Brooklyn Museum catalog, “From the Village to Vogue: the Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith”  


Arthur Smith (1917-1982)

554 Cuff bracelet Brooklyn, NY brass marked unique design 3”w x 6”l $2,500-3,000

555 “Vogue” cuff bracelet Brooklyn, NY brass marked 3”w x 3”l $3,000-3,500


Arthur Smith (1917-1982) 559 Ring Brooklyn, NY silver and malachite marked 1”w x 1.25”l $800-1,100

556 Ring Brooklyn, NY silver and carnelian marked 1.25”w $2,000-2,500


Arthur Smith (1917-1982)

557 Earrings, pair Brooklyn, NY gold and obsidian unmarked each: 1”w x 3”l $1,500-2,000

558 Earrings, pair Brooklyn, NY silver marked each: .75”w x 3.5”l $1,800-2,200


553 Earrings, pair Brooklyn, NY silver marked each: .75”w x 2.5”l $800-1,000

Arthur Smith (1917-1982)

561 Brooch Brooklyn, NY brass marked 2”w $300-500

562 Earrings, pair Brooklyn, NY brass unmarked 1.5”w x 2”l $1,000-1,200


Arthur Smith (1917-1982)

560 Necklace and bracelet set Brooklyn, NY brass marked largest: 6.5�w $2,500-3,000


Arthur Smith (1917-1982) 552 Brooch Brooklyn, NY brass and copper marked 3"w x 3.5"l $600-800

563 Earrings, pair Brooklyn, NY brass marked each: 1”w x 3.5”l $1,000-1,200


Beuford Smith (b. 1941)

Born in Cincinnati, Smith became interested in photography after seeing images by Roy DeCarava in the book, The Sweetflypaper of Life. He moved to New York and was a founding member of Kamoinge, a group of photographers including Lou Draper, Al Fennar, Ray Francis, and Herb Robinson, Anthony Barboza, and Shawn Walker, known collectively as the Kamoinge Workshop (1963). The group was formed to “address the under-representation of black photographers in the art world”. Roy DeCarava acted as its first director. Smith became a freelance photographer in 1966 and a cinematographer in 1968. In an interview in Ten8 magazine, Val Wilmer wrote: “Beuford Smith is one of the outstanding documentary photographers who got out of what has been called the ‘cauldron of the sixties.’ His concerns are diverse, his vision humane and thoughtful…” His early portraits depicted the residents of Harlem and Brooklyn, visually expressing the community life in New York City. (REF: Reflections in Black, A History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present, Deborah Willis, 2000) Note: “Kamoinge” means a group of people working together in Kikuya (an East African language).


Beuford Smith (b. 1941)

572 Spanish Harlem c. 1965 vintage photograph 7.5” x 9” $1,000-2,000


Vincent DaCosta Smith (1929-2004) Brooklyn native Vincent Smith documented some of the most compelling events in 20th century America, from the jazz clubs of the New York avant garde music scene, to the burgeoning civil rights movement, and the Black Arts Movement. After a tumultuous youth, Smith found new direction in art, a vocation he completely immersed himself in, both as a student and as a working artist. He took classes at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School and the Art Students League, NY. He traveled to Maine to study on scholarship at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Smith drew inspiration from African-American artist Jacob Lawrence and was mentored by Lawrence and Romare Bearden. His first solo show was held at the Brooklyn Museum Art School Gallery in 1955. He participated in numerous prestigious exhibits throughout his career, including at Roko Gallery (NYC), 1955; Market Place Gallery, Harlem, 1956-58; CORE (NYC), 1966; National Academy of Design, 1967; Studio Museum in Harlem, 1969 (one-man); Fisk University, 1970; Pratt Graphis Center, 1972-73; Brooklyn College, 1969; Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 1970; Illinois State University, 1971; Whitney Museum, 1971. Smith did a series of paintings in the 1950s with a jazz theme, Saturday Night in Harlem, and another in the 80s-90s, Riding on a Blue Note. A work from the later series, Rootin Tootin Blues was given to President and Mrs Bill Clinton for the first inauguration ceremony. In the late 1960s and 1970s, Smith became a fixture in the Black Arts Movement. Spearheaded by poets such as Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal, the movement celebrated both black power and black creativity. Poetry and music poured from the movement. Smith documented it all with swashes of bright, illuminated color, sand-thickened canvasses, geometry, symbolism, and movement. Baraka, quoted in American Visions, wrote of Smith’s work, “Sisters smile a little, buildings hang stiff in Smithspace, flowers glow indelibly, into the consciousness, civil rights leaders and militants are caught in paint like fixed artifacts of the black creative aesthetic, their politics collected forever in colors and forms.” One painting from that era, “Coal Duck,” featured a single black man looming large on the canvas. The surface is thick with grit like dirt stuck under fingernails after a long day’s labor. The symbolism sticks thickly too. Coal is black, like the man. Duck is short for “sitting duck”—a black man caught in a white man’s world. (Citation: “Vincent Smith Biography—From Hobo to Artist, Documented Struggles of Black America, Orchestrated Work with Color and Spontaneity”, Candace Laballe, 2004, from American Visions, 1999.) His work can be found in many private and public collections such as The Art Institute of Chicago, MoMA New York, The National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C., The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Yale University, New Haven.


Vincent DaCosta Smith (1929-2004) David Driskell wrote of Smith’s work: Visit the quiet and passionately inquiring mind of Vincent Smith and what is gently revealed is an impressive and dynamic display of black history, memory and creative workmanship in a very unique visual experience. Undaunted by the difficulties one encounters in a racially repressive society in which many African Americans often struggle daily to live above the poverty line, Vincent Smith, like his life long friend, Jacob Lawrence, has chosen art as the vehicle through which he speaks to the world airing his concerns about our humanity as well as our inhumanity to each other. Smith’s art examines, chronicles and visually comments upon an important segment of American history thereby singling him out as one of the few remaining American artists whose work is truly social commentary in nature. (“Revisiting Vincent Smith’s Affluent Visual Inquiry” 2003 , Dr. David C. Driskell)

619 Harlem

c. 1961 oil on canvas signed and dated lower left 41” x 50” $20,000-30,000  


Vincent DaCosta Smith (1929-2004)

634 Ethiopian Women Wearing Traditional Shamma c. 1974 pastel and collage signed upper left 17” x 23” $800-1,200 Provenance: Larcada Gallery, New York, New York (label on verso)


Vincent DaCosta Smith (1929-2004)

635 Dance of the Dahomey Moon c. 1974 pastel signed lower right 17” x 22.5” $800-1,200 Provenance: Larcada Gallery, New York, New York


Alma Thomas (1891-1978) Expressionist painter and art educator Alma Thomas was born to a well-respected middle class family in Georgia in 1891. The family moved to Washington D.C. while she was in her mid-teens, where she lived and worked for the rest of her life. Thomas enrolled in Howard University, studying under James V. Herring and became the first graduate of the newly organized art department in 1924. She began teaching after graduation, but continued studying art and painting part-time. In 1946, she joined Lois Mailou Jones’ Little Paris group, members of which sketched, painted and exhibited together in the Washington D.C. area. She studied painting at American University under Joe Summerford, Robert Gates, and Jacob Kainen; all of whom inspired her to look at the structure of a painting differently and use color as a single, qualitative element. When she retired, she began painting in earnest. Her work evolved from more traditional styles and themes to fully realized abstract works that explored color and composition which reflected her own unique vision of nature as well as incorporating influence from the Washington Color School. She was also known as a brilliant watercolorist. Her first retrospective exhibition, curated by James A. Porter, was held at Howard University in 1966. For this show, she created the Earth paintings, a series of works inspired by nature that resembled Byzantine mosaics. In 1972, she became the first African American woman to be given a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC. Soon after she exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. After seeing an exhibit of Matisse’s late gouache collages at the Museum of Modern Art, 1961, she began experimenting with rearranging geometric shapes. Thomas carefully calibrated the colors in the positive and the negative, thus making the blue background of From the Sky as important as the carefully placed geometric bars within it. The negative coordinates a relationship between the two positive components, and in this case, it creates a feeling of tension between the two. Her work is found in many museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Phillips Collection, Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the National Museum of American Art. In 2009, two of her paintings, Watusi (Hard Edge) and Sky Light were chosen by First Lady Michelle Obama to be exhibited during the Obama presidency.


Alma Thomas (1891-1978)

621 From the Sky c. 1974 watercolor on paper signed and dated lower right 22.5” x 29.75” $6,000-8,000


Bob Thompson (1937-1966) Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1937, Bob Thompson studied art at the University of Louisville and Boston University before moving to New York in 1959. Between 1961 and 1966, he traveled the European continent, immersing himself in museums and painting. He produced approximately 1000 paintings and drawings in a career cut short by his untimely death in Rome. His first solo exhibition was held at the Delancey Street Gallery, NY in 1960. From there he exhibited widely, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Dayton Art Institute, and the Martha Jackson Gallery, NY. In 1998, the Whitney Museum of American Art held a major traveling retrospective of his work featuring over 100 of his paintings. Thompson’s work may be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Dayton Art Institute, Denver Art Museum, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Jacqueline Francis writes in her essay on Thompson: “While Thompson’s conceptions often began with paradigmatic works, his approach of reducing detail and paring down the compositional elements to bare essences made his paintings vastly different from the ones that inspired them. he consistently compressed the internal picture space and positioned the broadly painted, colorful elements in close proximity to one another. Objects and lines democratically share the same flat space…” When Thompson painted the untitled work (Allegorical Scene), 1959, he had just completed a solo show in Louisville the year before—“Arts in Louisville”, and promptly departed for New York. He was squatting in an artist loft on Clinton Street, with no heat or hot water. He slept on a mattress thrown on the floor. There were a few pieces of furniture, a space heater, a record player and a drum set. Thompson said his true identity as an artist emerged in New York in 1959: “I got into a groove..where the subject matter was monsters. The whole thing was involved in a sort of poetry and the relationship was like man and woman to nature and beasts.” Several works dating from this year depict male figures in hats either riding or standing with horses. The red figure is a mystery. It is unclear if it is a human or a beast, but it seems likely that it is a human form, upside-down, and that the sinister character of the figure is represented by its blood-red color. It’s position puts it in a confrontational dynamic with the riders. REF: Bob Thompson, Thelma Golden (catalog for the exhibition at The Whitney Museum of Art, 1998)


Bob Thompson (1937-1966)

550 Allegorical Scene c. 1959 oil on canvas signed and dated 28” x 36” $60,000-80,000


Bob Thompson (1937-1966) 613 John and Julian c. 1959 pencil on paper signed and dated upper left 15.5” x 10” $3,500-4,000 Other Notes: This image depicts John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. In 1958-59, they played in the Miles Davis Sextet.


Bob Thompson (1937-1966) 590 Fruit Form c. 1959 oil on canvas signed and dated lower right, signed, titled and dated on verso 13” x 22” $20,000-30,000

In researching the work of Bob Thompson, we were able to find a single painting titled, Still Life, (albeit, we didn’t see the titles of every painting he ever did—probably just a hundred) so it is fair to say that still life paintings by Thompson are rare. Fruit Forms is not strictly speaking a still life, because there is the posterior of a female figure (purported to be his wife Carol’s) included in the composition, but the artist is playfully referring to the woman’s behind as fruit. Similarly to Le Poignarder (The Stab), from the same year (1959), Thompson has positioned a torso in the extreme left foreground, running off the top and bottom of the composition, but by turning the figure around, and placing a table top directly behind, the woman’s anatomy has taken on the same role as fruit in a traditional still life. Hypersexuality is prevalent in most of Thompson’s work, but many times the focus is the tension of a sexual relationship. On a more serious note, this painting reveals in no uncertain terms the direct influence of Richard Diebenkorn’s work—and indirectly, the work of Matisse. The year this work was executed, Thompson visited the Barnes Foundation near Philadelphia, which included the work of Matisse.


Andrew Turner (1944-2001)

Andrew Turner was born in l944 in Chester, Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Andrew’s work has been widely acclaimed, with many solo exhibitions and participation in group exhibitions.  He was artist-in-residence and curator, Deshong Museum, Chester, PA. Turner’s work is included in the collections of Woody Allen, Dr. Maya Angelou, ARCO Chemical Company, Bell Telephone Company, Dr. Constance Clayton, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Cosby, Edie Huggins, Eric Lindros, Mr. and Mrs Louis Madonni, Moses Malone, Penn State University, Prince, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Sorgenti, Swarthmore College, Mrs. Marilyn Wheaton, and Widener University Deshong Museum, just to name a few. He has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Turner commenting on his own work: “My paintings combine the drama inherent in seventeenth century Dutch painting with the brush work and the economy of the Impressionists. However, I look to the jazz idiom more so than to other contemporary visual artists for guidance and inspiration. I tend to measure the success of my pieces by how they stand up technically, emotionally and innovatively (sic) to a Coltrane solo or whether I’ve captured the spirit of the occasion, a la Ellington. The subject matter, sometimes nostalgic recollections of my days as a young tough, covers a myriad of common folk activities. The setting usually my native Chester, is a beehive of creative stimulation or a deteriorating ghetto depending on my state of mind. At the very least, hopefully, these vignettes of experience will help to provide insight into some African American lifestyles and serve as an inspiration to my students and others to continue the legacy of African American participation in the arts.”


Andrew Turner (1944-2001)

639 Piano Player c. 1970 oil on canvasboard signed lower right 12” x 8.25” $300-500


James Valentine (1932-2014)

James Valentine worked as a photographer and artist in the last quarter of the 20th century. While he wasn’t a professor at the Columbus College of Art and Design, he was very active in the art community of the city, and mentored many young artists—one being Al Carter, and the two remained lifelong friends.


James Valentine (1932-2014)

568 Self Portrait with an Entrée of Snakes c. 1970 vintage photograph 11” x 12.5” $300-500 Provenance: The estate of James Valentine


Ruth G. Waddy (1909-2003)

Ruth Waddy pictured with David Hammons, Los Angeles

Waddy was living in Chicago in the 1940s, but after being denied a job as a solderer because of her race, she left the Midwest and moved to Los Angeles. She worked odd jobs, including that of a riveter for Douglas Aircraft Corp. and an intake clerk at LA County Hospital (coincidentally with Noah Purifoy). She took a ceramics class that sparked her interest and then took classes at Otis Institute and LA City College. She quickly became an adept printmaker, with the linocut being her medium of choice. She exhibited widely in the U.S., and traveled as part of a delegation of eight artists to the Soviet Union in 1966, carrying her prints as well as 20 prints created by other black California artists (this was on the advice from Charles White). Waddy achieved a great deal of success with her own work, but above all, she considered herself and advocate and organizer of art made by African Americans. She founded the group Art West Associated in 1962 to press mainstream arts institutions in Southern California for greater African American representation. Selected Exhibitions: Internationale Buchkunst-Ausstellung, Leipzig, East Germany, 1965 The Negro in American Art, Dickson Art Galleries, UCLA, 1966 New Perspectives in Black Art, Kaiser Center, Oakland, 1968 Black California Women Artists, California African American Museum, Los Angeles, 1985 REF: Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, Kellie Jones (catalog to accompany the exhibition, initiated by The Getty Museum, 2011). Her work is found in the collections of Howard University, Metropolitan Museum, and Oakland Museum.


Ruth G. Waddy (1909-2003)

525 Just Liming (Tabago, West Indies) c. 1970 linoleum cut Artist’s proof, signed, titled, dated “Tobago, (West Indies), ‘70”, and inscribed “A/P 8” in pencil in lower margin, original artist label on verso 8.5” x 5.75” $500-700 Provenance: The estate of Varnette P. Honeywood, Los Angeles


Shawn Walker (b. 1940)

Walker grew up in Harlem and was introduced to the medium by his uncle, who was a photographer. Even as a young child he photographed friends and family, but he became serious about his art in his early twenties, when he joined a group of photographers including Lou Draper, Al Fennar, Ray Francis, and Herb Robinson, Beuford Smith, and Anthony Barboza, known collectively as the Kamoinge Workshop (1963). The group was formed to “address the under-representation of black photographers in the art world”. Roy DeCarava acted as its first director. Walker exhibited with the Kamoinge group in libraries and galleries (mostly local). “The period from 1962-1972..was a period where a whole lot of cultural, social, political change took place in Harlem and I found myself at the center of a lot of it.” In the 1970s, he traveled to Nigeria, Cuba and Guyana to photograph. Much of Walker’s work in the 1990s was influenced by his interpretation of Ralph Ellison’s, Invisible Man, 1952. Note: “Kamoinge” means a group of people working together in Kikuya (an East African language).


Shawn Walker (b. 1940)

570 Halloween #2 c. 1965 vintage photograph 7.75” x 5.5” $1,000-2,000


Albert Wells (1918-2001)

Born in Charlotte, N.C., Albert Wells studied at Morehouse College in Georgia and was a member of the “Outhouse School”, a group of African American artists, which included Hale Woodruff, who were known for their landscapes of rural Georgia. Wells was awarded first prize and $50 in a nation-wide exhibition of Negro artists at Dillard University (Fourth Annual Exhibit of Art), according to an article in The Crisis (June, 1940). Wells exhibited the oil, End of Winter , at the American Negro Exposition in Chicago (1940). He also exhibited at Atlanta University (1942 and 1944) and the Institute of Modern Art in Boston (1943). His work, Georgia Winter, was included in Alain Locke’s The Negro in Art, A Pictoral Record of the Negro Artist and the Negro Theme in Art. “His (Wells) works display a distinctive brushwork that is at once expressionist and constructive, and a richly chromatic palette—all indications that he had fully mastered the principles of Woodruff’s teaching.” (citation, Daniel Schulman, Chicago curator and art historian) Wells assisted Woodruff in the execution of the Amistad Murals at Talladega College in 1939.


Albert Wells (1918-2001)

537 Still Life, October, 1948 c. 1948 oil on canvas signed and dated lower right 25.5” x 24” $2,500-3,000


Charles White (1918-1979) Born in 1918 in Chicago, Charles White was initially an introverted child, preferring to retreat into a world of reading and drawing. As he grew older, he became more outspoken, influenced by Alain Locke’s The New Negro. As a student at Englewood High School, alongside other future notables such as Margaret Burroughs, Eldzier Cortor, and Charles Sebree, he often clashed with his teachers over their whitewashing of historical subjects. He joined George Neal’s Art Crafts Guild and gathered at the studio of Morris Topchevsky, where he was able to further explore his views of art, politics, and the role of the African American in society. White graduated high school in 1937 and went on to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was subsequently hired by the Illinois Art Project in the easel division, but transferred to the mural division, where he worked with Edward Millman and Mitchell Siporin. His first major mural, Five Great American Negroes, was completed in 1940. His work was also exhibited at the American Negro Exposition, winning several awards. White married Elizabeth Catlett in 1941 after meeting her at the South Side Community Art Center, and the pair moved to New Orleans where they both taught at Dillard University. Two consecutive Rosenwald scholarships allowed him to study lithography at the Art Student’s League of New York with Harry Sternberg, as well as travel the Southern United States. He used this opportunity to observe and paint black farmers and laborers for his mural, “The Contribution of the Negro to the Democracy of America.” Catlett and White relocated to Mexico where they both became involved with the Taller Grafica de Popular. After their divorce, White returned to New York City. His work retained a figurative style which stood in stark contrast to the burgeoning abstract movement occurring at the time. He used drawings, linocuts, and woodcuts to celebrate the historical figures who resisted slavery, as well as ordinary African Americans struggling amid great social injustice in a post-slavery America. Despite their small size, these works conveyed the power of a mural. White was the second African American to be inducted into the National Academy of Art and Design in 1975.


Charles White (1918-1979)

521 Joven c. 1946 lithograph initialed in the plate, "C.W."; bears the stamp of the Taller Graphica Popular (Graphics Art Workshop, Mexico) in margin, and in pencil, "E/E". 13.5" x 10.75" (wide margins) $4,000-6,000



Charles White (1918-1979)

612 Father and Son c. 1937-1938 graphite on paper estate stamp lower right 10.25” x 8” $1,200-1,800 Provenance: The artist to Heritage Gallery, LA. Statement of Authenticity from C. Sherman, Director Heritage Gallery.


Charles White (1918-1979)

520 Melinda c. 1969 etching signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil, edition of 25 10.75” x 21.5” $3,000-5,000


Walter Williams (1920-1998) Painter, printmaker and sculptor, Walter Williams studied art at the Brooklyn Museum Art School under Ben Shahn, Reuben Tam, and Gregoria Prestopino. He also spent a summer studying art at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. In 1955, Williams won a Whitney Fellowship that permitted him to work and travel in Mexico. He also won a National Arts and Letters Grant in 1960 and the Silvermine Award in 1963.  Williams moved to Copenhagen, Denmark in the 1960’s to escape the discrimination of the United States, While he was in Copenhagen, he created a series of colorful woodcuts of black children playing in fields of flowers. He returned to the United States to serve as artist-in-residence at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Here he completed a body of work informed by the experiences of being an African American living in the South.  Walter H. Williams died in Copenhagen in June 1998. His work is included in the collections of many prominent institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Howard University, and the National Gallery of Arts, Washington D.C.   Williams exhibited first with Michael Freilich (Roko Gallery) and then with Terry Dintenfass, both long-time New York gallery owners who, when nearly all artists showing in New York galleries were white, represented several black artists.

606 Sunflowers #2 c. 1966 woodcut pencil signed, dated and titled, artist proof 13.5” x 20” $1,000-2,000


Walter Williams (1920-1998)

605 Girl in a Field of Sunflowers c. 1960 mixed media on masonite signed 19.75” x 23.75” $5,000-7,000


Hale Woodruff (1900-1980) Hale Woodruff began his career studying at the John Herron Institute in Indianapolis. He had enjoyed some degree of success and exhibited frequently in Indianapolis and in Chicago by the time he won a Harmon Foundation prize in 1926. This award financed a trip to Paris. Woodruff was deeply influenced by the European modernists, especially Cézanne. He spent a great deal of time with the poet Countee Cullen and painter Palmer Hayden while in Paris. Cullen was there on a Guggenheim Fellowship and Hayden, a Harmon Foundation gold medal prize he won the year previously. Woodruff was encouraged to start a collection of African art by Alain Locke, who accompanied him to the Paris flea markets. In 1931, Dr. John Hope recruited Woodruff to teach fine art to undergraduates from Spelman College and Morehouse College at the newly established Atlanta University. It was during the 1930’s that Woodruff’s individual style began to take shape. His work shifted from provincial landscapes and figure studies to social realist scenes and stylized landscapes. The untitled work (described as “Sharecropper”) relates to other works from the Atlanta period. Southland , painted about 1936, depicts a landscape ravaged by erosion, remnants of an abandoned church, broken crosses and trees, and bleached mule bones, reminiscent of Alexandre Hogue’s famous works of the dustbowl. Also, Sharecropper Boy, painted in 1938, which like this work, depicts a solitary worker in a landscape dominated by the red clay-colored soil. The figure in Sharecropper Boy seems to be dejected by the bleak conditions of his situation, while the figure in this untitled work appears to be overwhelmed by the actual labor. His physical presence is strong, but his eyes are downcast and he has paused in exhaustion. In both paintings, Woodruff has chosen to have little contrast between the figure and the soil itself, both in color and in the high horizon line, as if the earth were gradually swallowing the figure. Many black sharecroppers ended up owing more to the landowner for the use of tools and other supplies than they were able to repay, so in a sense they became slaves to the land itself. In 1936, Woodruff received a grant that allowed him to assist Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. His work with Rivera and support from the Federal Arts Project compelled him to undertake his famous Amistad murals for Talladega College, Alabama, which were installed in 1939. Currently, these murals are touring the country as a part of the exhibition, “Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talledega College.” In addition to the murals, the exhibition also includes 40 additional works by Woodruff: smaller paintings, mural studies, and linocut prints that date from roughly the same period. In the early 1940s, Woodruff was commissioned by the WPA to provide art for use in public housing. In 1943, he was awarded a Rosenwald Fellowship to work in New York for two years. When he arrived in New York, regionalist and social realist themes were being challenged by abstract expressionism. Woodruff returned to teach in Atlanta, but found the excitement he experienced in New York too hard to resist, and subsequently, accepted a teaching position at New York University (1946).


Hale Woodruff (1900-1980)

518 Relics c. 1935 linocut signed, titled and dated in pencil, AP 8” x 11” $1,800-2,300

Woodruff had begun experimenting with purely abstract compositions by the mid 1940s, and his non-abstract subjects became increasingly abstracted. He became more interested in movement, which was almost entirely absent in earlier works. He learned from the abstract expressionists that “color and brushwork had meaning in themselves” (REF: Corrine Jennings’ essay in A Shared Heritage, Art by Four African Americans, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1996). Rustic Landscape , executed in the 1950s, is an excellent example of his approach to painting during this period. Ann Gibson, writing about a comparable work by Woodruff, Carnival (1950), in The Search for Freedom, African American Abstract Painting 1945-1975 (the catalog accompanying the exhibition at Kenkeleba Gallery, NY, 1991), “Carnival …plays off a heavily textured, resolutely flat surface against changes in value and tone—light and warm versus dark and cool—that plunge the viewer from sandy surface into an indeterminate depth…Woodruff places viewers in a tenuous situation, stretched between the impossibility of penetrating the resistantly earthy surface and the inevitability of wallowing in the soft violets below.” Rustic Landscape transports the viewer into a similar situation. Jennings also discusses Woodruff’s transition to focus on underpainting in his abstract work. He completed large mural commissions for the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles as well as for Atlanta University. In the mid 1960’s, Woodruff formed the group, Spiral, with Romare Bearden, Charles Alston, and Norman Lewis to explore their common cultural experiences as black artists . His last major exhibition was presented by the Studio Museum in Harlem, 1979 . Woodruff’s work may be found in the collections of Atlanta University, Spelman College, New York University, the Library of Congress, and the Harmon Foundation.


Hale Woodruff (1900-1980)

513 Sharecropper c. 1935-1940 oil on canvas signed 36” x 24” $30,000-50,000


Hale Woodruff (1900-1980)

549 Rustic Landscape c. 1955-1965 oil on canvas signed lower right, signed and titled on verso 36” x 48” $30,000-50,000


Other Publications by Tyler Fine Art

Thelma Johnson Streat: Faith in an Ultimate Freedom Carl Pope: The Bad Air Smelled of Roses African American Fine Art Auction Catalog - 06.01.2014

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African American Fine Art Auction  

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African American Fine Art Auction  

12/06/2014 - Chicago