Lot 94: SIGNED ROBERT GWATHMEY (1903-1988) LITHOGRAPH
October 23, 2016
Mr. Pleasant, SC, USALive Auction
Description: Signed Robert Gwathmey (American 1903-1988) Lithograph "Delivery". Done in 1982 and signed in pencil by the artist. Measures 27 x 22 inches. Wt. 6 pds. In protective frame 24x36. Published by Hampton Editions. Hampton Editions had collaborative publishing ventures included artists such as Robert Dash, Syd Solomon, Esteban Vicente, Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning, Dan Flavin, Bill King, and Jane Freilicher. This is the final group of A/P and signed Lithos from this collection. PROVENANCE: A Private Southampton, NY Collection. Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1903, Robert Gwathmey became an artist known for his Social Realist depictions of life in the rural South. He was one of the first white artists to create dignified images of African-American people and did so in a style that was modernist with many geometric forms and sometimes bold colororation. He spent most of his forty-five year career in New York City, but frequently returned to the South where he became concerned about the problems dividing blacks and whites. His family were a old Virginia family 8th generation, and so he was raised in an environment where segregation was taught. He moved north to study art, going first to the Maryland Institute of Art for a year and in 1930 earned a degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. To earn money in Philadelphia, he worked in a settlement house and became much aware of tensions between people with diverse cultures. He was active politically to get money for federal support of projects to help needy individuals. Gwathmey traveled in Europe for two years and then taught at Carnegie Institute of Technology and for twenty-six years at Cooper Union. In 1944, he received a Rosenwald Fellowship and lived and worked on a tobacco farm, another experience that motivated him to turn to rural south themes in his art. In 1973, he was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters and in 1976, to the National Academy of Design. After finishing school, Robert Gwathmey was a professor at several colleges: Temple University in Philadelphia(1930-1932), Beaver College in Glenside, PA (1930-1937), Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA (1939-1942), the Cooper Union School of Art, New York City (1942-1968), New School for Social Research, New York (1946-1949), and Boston University (1968-1969). Robert was also an activist for several political movements, because of this he was watched by the FBI for the last twenty-seven years of his life.
Condition Report: good, toning to back