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AFRICAN-AMERICAN FINE ART

by Swann Auction Galleries

Platinum House

154 lots with images

October 18, 2012

Live Auction

104 East 25th Street

New York, NY, 10010 USA

Phone: 212.254.4710

Fax: 212 979 1017

Email: swann@swanngalleries.com

154 Lots
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ROBERT S. DUNCANSON (1821 - 1872) Young America.

Lot 1: ROBERT S. DUNCANSON (1821 - 1872) Young America.

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Description: ROBERT S. DUNCANSON (1821 - 1872) Young America. Oil on canvas, 1846. 406x311 mm; 16x12 1/4 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower left. Provenance: private Georgia collection, acquired in the 1960s or 1970s; thence by descent to the current owner. Young America is both a dramatic and an unusual painting by Robert S. Duncanson, which was just recently rediscovered. Few figurative paintings from the early part of his career are known, let alone have come to auction. Before becoming an acclaimed landscape painter, Duncanson made some historical paintings in addition to typical genre commissions. Joseph D. Ketner II describes how Young America is "a rare, early example by Robert S. Duncanson from the first decade of his professional career, when he was traveling regularly between Cincinnati and Detroit painting portraits, still lifes, historical and 'fancy' pictures on commission." Patriotic imagery is an unusual subject for a commission, as it is usually found in popular printed material. Duncanson had adapted some common themes found in prints in his paintings The Drunkard's Plight, 1845, Detroit Institute of Arts, and Mary Magdalene, 1846, private collection. This blonde young man and his battle scene differs from the typical representation of a youthful embodiment of nationalist spirit. This specificity makes the figure more than just an American symbol--Ketner suggests that the young man may be a son sent off to war whose family commissioned this likeness. The heroic figure of Young America, raising both his sword and the American flag, according to Ketner, is "possibly the earliest patriotic painting of the Mexican-American war period." Young America also shows the imagination and developing talent of a young American artist. This exciting discovery adds to the growing appreciation and understanding of this important 19th century painter's work. We would like to thank Joseph D. Ketner II, curator-in-residence at Emerson College and noted Robert S. Duncanson expert, for his examination report and essay confirming the work. The painting is being sold with his report, dated January 5, 2012.

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CHARLES ETHAN PORTER (1847 - 1923) Three Apples (Still Life of Apples, Grapes and Blueberries).

Lot 2: CHARLES ETHAN PORTER (1847 - 1923) Three Apples (Still Life of Apples, Grapes and Blueberries).

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Description: CHARLES ETHAN PORTER (1847 - 1923) Three Apples (Still Life of Apples, Grapes and Blueberries). Oil on canvas, circa 1877-81. 254x355 mm; 10x14 inches. Signed in oil, lower right. Provenance: Roger King Gallery, Providence, RI, with the label on the frame back; private New York collection. This fine painting is a wonderful example of Porter's series of still lifes of apples, from his early period in Hartford, CT. This oil has the realistic detail, delicate handling, straw covered ground and the muted artist's signature similar to the larger and masterful Apples on the Ground, circa 1878, in the collection of the Wadsworth Aetheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. The artist bravely moved from New York to the smaller Hartford, where he found a receptive popular and critical audience for these works. These apple paintings sold well, and he continued to paint them: "Porter's apples are certainly extraordinary productions" raved a Hartford Daily Times reporter in 1878. Cummings pp. 36-37.

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CHARLES ETHAN PORTER (1847 - 1923) Overturned Basket of Apples.

Lot 3: CHARLES ETHAN PORTER (1847 - 1923) Overturned Basket of Apples.

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Description: CHARLES ETHAN PORTER (1847 - 1923) Overturned Basket of Apples. Oil on canvas, circa 1885. 508x610 mm; 20x24 inches. Signed in oil, lower left. Provenance: acquired at Winter Auctions, Plainville, CT, September 12, 2011; private New York collection. This is a large and unusual example of Porter's series of apple still lifes, which was painted during his later, second period in Hartford, CT. This oil is very similar in the impastoed handling, contrasts and casual naturalness of Apples in an Overturned Basket, circa 1885, exhibited at the artist's 2007 New Britain Museum retrospective. The artist, according to Hildegard Cummings, considered one of his apple paintings his best work and showed it in the National Academy of Design in 1885--unfortunately, the available records do not confirm which depiction of apples he referred to. Cummings pp. 74-75.

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EDWARD M. BANNISTER (1828 - 1901) Untitled (Autumn Landscape).

Lot 4: EDWARD M. BANNISTER (1828 - 1901) Untitled (Autumn Landscape).

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Description: EDWARD M. BANNISTER (1828 - 1901) Untitled (Autumn Landscape). Oil on canvas board, 1888. 413x535 mm; 10 1/2x13 5/8 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower right. Provenance: private New York collection. Bannister's unusual autumn scene of trees rich wtih fall foliage depicts a landscape in a limited palette of golden ochre and sienna. Bannister began to explore more atmospheric and tonal painterly effects in his late 1880s and early 1890s landscapes. Bannister's Landscape with Clouds, undated, and Crossing the Bridge Before Sunset, 1893, both exhibited in Edward M. Bannister--A Centennial Retrospective, Roger King Gallery and Kenkeleba House, 2001, also share this overall golden hue and painterliness.

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EDWARD M. BANNISTER (1828 - 1901) Untitled (Landscape and Cloud Study).

Lot 5: EDWARD M. BANNISTER (1828 - 1901) Untitled (Landscape and Cloud Study).

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Description: EDWARD M. BANNISTER (1828 - 1901) Untitled (Landscape and Cloud Study). Oil on cardstock board, circa 1895. 184x210 mm; 7 1/4x8 1/4 inches. Initialed in oil, lower right. Provenance: private New York collection. Bannister often painted small oil studies en plein air that focused on clouds and weather patterns in the sky. The Smitnsonian American Art Museum collection of Bannister paintings includes other small oil on boards of surnrises, sunsets, and storms, including a very similar, undated oil, After the Shower.

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GRAFTON TYLER BROWN (1841 - 1918) Eagle's Nest, Yellowstone.

Lot 6: GRAFTON TYLER BROWN (1841 - 1918) Eagle's Nest, Yellowstone.

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Description: GRAFTON TYLER BROWN (1841 - 1918) Eagle's Nest, Yellowstone. Oil on canvas, 1890-91. 762x508 mm; 30x20 inches. Signed and dated "'91" in oil, lower right recto. Inscribed "The Eagle's Nest, Grand Canyon of the Yellow Stone National Park, August 14, 1890, From Hayden Point" in pencil, verso. Provenance: private California collection; private collection. This impressive and colorful landscape by Grafton Tyler Brown, the first African-American painter active in the American West, is representative of his work around Yellowstone National Park. Brown was born in Harrisburg, PA to a family of freed slaves from Maryland; the family moved to San Francisco in 1855. Brown worked for the lithography firm of Kuchel & Dresel, where he specialized in drawing maps and bird's-eye views of cities and towns in Nevada and California. After the owners' death, Brown purchased the firm, renaming it G.T. Brown & Co, but he sold the business in 1879 in order to devote his time to painting. He moved to Victoria, BC, joining the Canadian government's geological survey of the Cascade Mountains and exhibiting his works there in 1883. The following year he moved again, this time to Washington, where he frequently painted Mt. Rainier. From 1886 to 1889, the artist had a studio and home in Portland, OR, where he was a member of the Portland Art Club. But by 1892, Brown was on the move again, relocating to St. Paul, MN, where he remained until his death in 1918--no paintings by him have been found from this period. Today, his paintings are in the collections of museums throughout the United States, and are valued for their documentation of the Western wilderness. Eagle's Nest is recorded in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's "Inventory of American Paintings Executed Before 1914."

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RICHARD LONSDALE BROWN (1886 - 1915) Untitled (Pastoral Landscape).

Lot 7: RICHARD LONSDALE BROWN (1886 - 1915) Untitled (Pastoral Landscape).

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Description: RICHARD LONSDALE BROWN (1886 - 1915) Untitled (Pastoral Landscape). Watercolor on wove paper, mounted on cardstock, 1913. 222x324 mm; 8 3/4x12 3/4 inches. Signed and dated in watercolor, lower right. Provenance: private collection. This romantic landscape is only the third work by the artist to come to auction. With his life cut short at the age of 24, works by Richard Lonsdale Brown are very scarce. James Porter described Brown and Lenwood Morris in his Modern Negro Art as "two of the most talented men of this epoch who died in mid-career before fulfilling early promises." Brown painted a similar landscape in 1912 that was used on the front cover of the April/Easter issue of The Crisis, which also featured a profile on the young artist. Porter p. 81.

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HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Flight Into Egypt.

Lot 8: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Flight Into Egypt.

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Description: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Flight Into Egypt. Oil on wood panel, circa 1916-22. 280x222 mm; 11x8 3/4 inches. Signed in oil, lower left recto. With the artist's estate ink stamp, and signed by the artist's son Jesse O. Tanner in ink, verso. Also numbered 86 in ink on verso. Provenance: estate of the artist; Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, with the gallery label; private New York collection. This richly layered oil is an excellent example of Tanner's many nocturnal scenes of Biblical subjects. Tanner united an experimentation of material with the murkiness and intimacy of his moonlit scenes. There is another oil on wood panel painting of the same subject in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, that shares this highly textural, almost sculptural, quality. Marley p. 250.

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HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Christ and Nicodemus (Early Study).

Lot 9: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Christ and Nicodemus (Early Study).

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Description: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Christ and Nicodemus (Early Study). Oil on thick cardstock, circa 1923. 267x345 mm; 10 1/2x13 5/8 inches. With the artist's estate ink stamp, and signed by the artist's son Jesse O. Tanner in ink, verso. With a pencil sketch of a landscape on the verso. Provenance: estate of the artist; Grand Central Art Galleries, New York; private New York collection. This oil study is a remarkable, early study for one of the artist's major paintings, which reveals his preliminary experimentations. There was previously only one known oil study for each of his famous, large Nicodemus oil paintings--Nicodemus, 1899, in the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Nicodemus Visiting Jesus, 1927, private collection. This study appears to be an early version of the latter. While similar in composition and scale, in this study, the figures' positions are reversed. Moreover, this version is not nocturnal--its palette is quite different from the final version's evening of evocative blues and purples. The other study for Christ and Nicodemus on a Rooftop is dated circa 1923, and is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. The Smithsonian describes how the story of Nicodemus visiting Christ at night relates to practices of African-American worship that Tanner remembered from his youth. After emancipation, freed slaves continued to meet at night, as they had done when their masters had forbidden them to read the Bible. Marley pp. 268-269.

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HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) The Good Shepherd.

Lot 10: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) The Good Shepherd.

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Description: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) The Good Shepherd. Oil on wood panel, circa 1917. 210x273 mm; 8 1/4x10 3/4 inches. With the artist's estate ink stamp, and signed by the artist's son Jesse O. Tanner in ink, verso. Provenance: estate of the artist; Grand Central Art Galleries, New York; private New York collection. This is one of several small Tanner paintings of the shepherd and his flock. This loosely painted panel is an apparent study for the painting Shepherd with Herd sold at Christie's, NY, on December 2, 1998. Tanner experimented in these simple tonal studies with his application of paint. In this small work, with various layers of thin oil paint, Tanner leaves suggestive marks across the board, leaving exposed areas of ground.

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HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Head of Christ.

Lot 11: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Head of Christ.

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Description: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Head of Christ. Conte crayon and pencil on cream laid paper. 165x165 mm; 6 1/2x6 1/4 inches (image); 178x203 mm; 7x8 inches (sheet). With a fragment of a pencil sketch of a bearded man, verso. Provenance: estate of the artist; Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, with the gallery label; private New York collection. Head of Christ is an exquisite study that shows Tanner's skill in draftsmanship and his keen sense of anatomy. Auction records indicate that this is the first drawing by Tanner to come to auction in over 15 years.

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HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Group of 4 etchings.

Lot 12: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Group of 4 etchings.

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Description: HENRY OSSAWA TANNER (1859 - 1937) Group of 4 etchings. Gate in Tangier. 238x181 mm; 9 3/8x7 1/8 inches, full margins. Numbered 70/120 on the verso. * Fishing Boats at Shore, Brittany. 149x200 mm; 5 7/8x7 7/8 inches, full margins. Numbered 19/120 on the verso. * Mosque, Tangier. 175x235 mm; 6 7/8x9 1/4 inches, full margins. Numbered 21/120 on the verso. * The Disciples See Christ Walking on Water. 184x244 mm; 7 1/4x9 5/8 inches, full margins. Numbered 83/120 on the verso. Each circa 1905-15. Each signed by the artist's son, Jesse O. Tanner, and numbered in ink, verso. Each with the artist's estate ink stamp verso. Very good, dark impressions. Tanner began printing etchings in the first decades of the 20th century. An impression of The Disciples See Christ Walking on Water was recorded at Grand Central Art Galleries as inscribed "Trépied Xmas 1913." Trépied was Tanner's home and studio in Picardy from 1908--he had access to a press in the neighboring town of Étaples. Printmaking was popular in the local artist's community, but plans for a "Club de Graveurs" were interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. Marley p. 96.

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ALBERT ALEXANDER SMITH (1896 - 1940) Untitled (Madrid Street Scene).

Lot 13: ALBERT ALEXANDER SMITH (1896 - 1940) Untitled (Madrid Street Scene).

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Description: ALBERT ALEXANDER SMITH (1896 - 1940) Untitled (Madrid Street Scene). Oil on canvas, 1926. 750x1000 mm; 29 1/2x39 1/4 inches. Signed, dated and inscribed "Madrid" in oil, lower left. Provenance: private collection, Paris. This untitled Spanish view is an exciting European discovery--it is one of Smith's largest landscapes, and one of only a few of his known surviving European canvases. Albert Alexander Smith was, after Henry Ossawa Tanner, the embodiment of the early 20th century African-American expatriate artist. After graduating from the National Academy of Design, Smith moved to Paris in 1920. Over the next 20 years, he worked and traveled throughout France, Holland, Italy and Spain, making a living as a jazz musician, while developing a large body of etchings and paintings. According to Theresa Leininger-Miller, Smith spent extensive time traveling through Spain in the first half of 1926--to Seville, Bilbao and Madrid, where he studied the works of Velázquez and Murillo at the Prado Museum. He painted many landscapes, including market and busy street scenes over the next two years. However, in the U.S., Smith gained more notice at the Harmon Foundation for producing portraits of anonymous European "types"--peasants, beggars, musicians. Leininger-Miller pp. 224-225.

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PALMER HAYDEN (1890 - 1973) Racetrack, St. Cloud, Paris.

Lot 14: PALMER HAYDEN (1890 - 1973) Racetrack, St. Cloud, Paris.

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Description: PALMER HAYDEN (1890 - 1973) Racetrack, St. Cloud, Paris. Oil on canvas, circa 1927-28. 500x715 mm; 20 1/4x28 inches. Signed in oil, lower left. Signed and titled in pencil on the stretcher bars verso. Provenance: private collection; purchased at Swann Galleries on February 19, 2008, private collection. This large oil is one of the few known landscapes the artist made while living in Paris. In addition to his well-documented fondness for the café and nightclub scene in Paris, Palmer Hayden also frequented the horse races at St. Cloud, in the western suburbs of Paris. There is another known painting of The Seine at St. Cloud in the Miriam Hayden estate. Included in his papers in the American Art Archives of the Smithsonian are also sketchbooks with drawings of St. Cloud.

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HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980) Landscape Near Grasse.

Lot 15: HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980) Landscape Near Grasse.

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Description: HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980) Landscape Near Grasse. Oil on canvas, 1930. 457x550 mm; 18x21 5/8 inches. Incised signature, lower left recto. Signed in pencil, lower right verso. Titled in pencil on the stretcher bars, verso. Provenance: Cunningham Gallery, Wellfleet, MA; private Vermont collection. Landscape Near Grasse is a striking Impressionist painting by Hale Woodruff; it recalls landscapes painted by Cézanne nearby in Provence. Grasse is also the location of paintings by American artists as diverse as John Singer Sargent and Loïs Mailou Jones. Woodruff left Paris for Cagnes-sur-Mer on the coast of Provence in the summer of 1930, following in the footsteps of his countrymen Palmer Hayden and William H. Johnson, and such notables as Modigliani, Renoir and Soutine. Attracted to its artistic history, sunlight and cheap accommodations, Woodruff soon rented a studio at 34 rue Carnot, which he later learned was once Chaim Soutine's atelier. Though Woodruff denied Soutine's influence, one could argue that his later landscapes reflect an interest in both Cézanne and Soutine. Another Woodruff oil, Provençal Landscape, 1930, describes a very similar hilly scene with scattered red-roofed houses--he sent it to the Harmon Foundation in New York, where it was exhibited in 1931. Leininger-Miller pp. 130-32.

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GWENDOLYN BENNETT (1902 - 1981) Untitled (River Landscape).

Lot 16: GWENDOLYN BENNETT (1902 - 1981) Untitled (River Landscape).

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Description: GWENDOLYN BENNETT (1902 - 1981) Untitled (River Landscape). Oil on canvas, 1931. 203x305 mm; 8x12 inches. Initailed "G.B.J." and dated in oil, lower right. Provenance: private collection. This is the first known painting by this important Harlem Renaissance artist, poet, educator, columnist and editor to come to auction--and the only painting by Gwendolyn Bennett that we have located. Born in Texas and raised in Brooklyn, Bennett began her college art studies at Columbia University, but transferred to and graduated from Pratt Institute in 1924. This silvery, Corot-like landscape shows the influence of her later studies in Paris from 1925-26 when she attended the Académies de la Grande Chaumière, Julian, and Colarossi, and the École du Panthéon, Paris. During the Harlem Renaissance, Bennett received more acclaim as a talented and prolific poet and short story writer. In addition, she edited the literary journal Fire!! and wrote an arts column, "The Ebony Flute," in Opportunity. In 1923, she both illustrated a cover for Crisis, and her poem "Heritage" was published by Opportunity. Between 1923-1931, 22 of her poems were published in the journals Crisis, Opportunity, Palms and Gypsy. Bennett married Dr. Albert Joseph Jackson in 1927 and lived in Eustis, FL at the time of the painting, after moving from Washington, DC--the stretcher bars bear the partial label of a Washington, DC art supply store. Bennett returned to New York in the mid-1930s, and continued an influential career in arts administration, becoming director of the Harlem Arts Guild, the Harlem Community Art Center (after Augusta Savage) and the progessive George Washington Carver School.

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LOÏS MAILOU JONES (1905 - 1998) Menemsha by the Sea.

Lot 17: LOÏS MAILOU JONES (1905 - 1998) Menemsha by the Sea.

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Description: LOÏS MAILOU JONES (1905 - 1998) Menemsha by the Sea. Watercolor, 1930. 368x495 mm; 14 1/4x19 1/2 inches. Signed and dated in watercolor, lower right recto. Signed in watercolor, upper right verso. Provenance: collection of the artist, with her 17th Street Washington, DC address label on the frame back; thence by descent to the Loïs Mailou Jones Pierre-Noël Trust. Exhibited: Loïs Mailou Jones Retrospective, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, March 11 - April 15, 1973; Chicago Public Library Cultural Center, Chicago, July 28 - September 29, 1980; Against All Odds: African-American Artists and the Harmon Foundation, the Newark Museum, Newark, January 13 - April 15, 1990; Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC, May 7, 1990 - July 9, 1990, with the labels on the frame back. This beautiful Martha's Vineyard landscape is of an area that Jones knew well from her youth. Her grandmother worked as a housekeeper and nanny on the Vineyard, and had saved up to purchase land in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, where Jones began spending summers in 1906. Her parents also purchased a summer home there in 1909, and Jones spent every summer on the picturesque waterfront. She maintained ties to the community while studying graphic design and art in Boston. In 1928, she finished her graduate studies at the Designers Art School of Boston. Later that year, she attended a summer session at Harvard University while working as a freelance textile designer for F.A. Foster Company. Jones had a body of watercolors from the Vineyard and a solo exhibtion at Oak Bluffs before joining the faculty of Howard University in 1930.

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RICHMOND BARTHÉ (1901 - 1989) Head of Boy (Black Boy).

Lot 18: RICHMOND BARTHÉ (1901 - 1989) Head of Boy (Black Boy).

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Description: RICHMOND BARTHÉ (1901 - 1989) Head of Boy (Black Boy). Painted plaster, with a bronze-like patina, on a walnut base, circa 1929-31. 152 mm; 6 inches high (241 mm; 9 1/2 inches including base). With the incised artist's signature on the verso of the head. Provenance: the estate of Edward Albert, Pacific Palisades, CA; acquired at New Orleans Auction Galleries on January 26, 2008 by the present owner, private New York collection. According to their auction description, the work was also confirmed by Dr. Samella Lewis at the time. With its original, delicate patina and base intact, this head is an outstanding example of an early work by Richmond Barthé. At the time, the artist struggled to find commissions, but showed regularly at the Harmon Foundation exhibitions of 1929, 1931 and 1933. In works like this and Mask of a Boy, circa 1931, Barthé demonstrates a great sensitivity and expressiveness on a small scale. This head is possibly the same Head of Boy listed in the Harmon 1935 exhibition at Delphic Studios, which included 19 sculptures by the artist, in addition to the memorial exhibition for Malvin Gray Johnson. There is also another very similar mask-like head that Barthé later cast in bronze, titled Julius, 1942-43, in the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Reynolds/Wright pl. 11, p. 158; Vendryes p. 53.

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WILLIAM EDOUARD SCOTT (1884 - 1964) When the Tide is Out.

Lot 19: WILLIAM EDOUARD SCOTT (1884 - 1964) When the Tide is Out.

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Description: WILLIAM EDOUARD SCOTT (1884 - 1964) When the Tide is Out. Oil on canvas, 1932. 914x965 mm; 36x38 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower left. Provenance: the artist; James F. Simon; thence by descent to the penultimate owner, private collection. According to the current owner, this painting was acquired from a family descendent of James F. Simon, who worked for the Rosenwald Foundation in Chicago in the 1930s, and bought it directly from Scott. Exhibited: Exhibition of Productions by Negro Artists, the Harmon Foundation, New York, 1933. When the Tide is Out is listed in the Harmon exhibition catalogue, along with three other paintings by Scott, including Blind Sister Mary which was purchased by the Harmon Foundation and given to the New York Public Library. It also has an early handwritten label on the verso. This captivating and complex composition is one of the finest examples from William Edouard Scott's early Haitian period to come to auction. While his time in Paris, where he studied with Henry Ossawa Tanner and at the Académies Julian and Colarossi, had a profound effect on his early career, the year Scott spent in Haiti helped shape the rest of his career. Scott was awarded a Julius Rosenwald Foundation scholarship in 1931 to study and paint the African beliefs and customs that had survived in the culture of this still independent island nation. Scott left for Haiti that year, and did many plein air sketches around the docks where fishermen and merchants came ashore at Port-au-Prince--see the untitled panel sketch, lot 16, sold on February 19, 2008 at Swann Galleries, and exhibited in A Force for Change: African-American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund. These studies were later translated into larger canvases in the artist's rooftop studio of the Excelsior Hotel in Port-au-Prince. Scott specialized in large multi-figure paintings, and made a long and successful career from many public mural commissions in Chicago. Schulman p. 86.

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HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980) Untitled (Still Life of Flowers).

Lot 20: HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980) Untitled (Still Life of Flowers).

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Description: HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980) Untitled (Still Life of Flowers). Gouache or tempera, watercolor and oil on cardboard, circa 1932-40. 700x550 mm; 27 1/2x21 1/2 inches. Signed in gouache, lower left recto. With a pencil study of men playing checkers, lower left verso. Provenance: Sacks Fine Art, New York, with the gallery label on the frame back (acquired in the early 1990s); private collection. This is an unusually large and dramatic example of Hale Woodruff's early painting. Few early still lifes are known, as Woodruff focused primarily on landscapes--Still Life Interrior, circa 1930, and Untitled, 1931, ink and wash on paper, are two known examples from France. At the time of his 1936 trip to Mexico to study the murals of Diego Rivera, Woodruff also painted a modernist Night Blooming Circus, circa 1936, in the Clark Atlanta University art collection, also against a dark background. The drawing on the back of the painting is a fascinating figure study similar to many of his murals, with an attention to gestures.

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ALLAN ROHAN CRITE (1910 - 2007) Douglass Square.

Lot 21: ALLAN ROHAN CRITE (1910 - 2007) Douglass Square.

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Description: ALLAN ROHAN CRITE (1910 - 2007) Douglass Square. Oil on canvas board, 1934. 610x457 mm; 24x18 inches. Signed, initialed and dated "April 1934" in oil, lower left recto. Signed, titled and inscribed with the artist's address in oil, verso. Provenance: the artist, Boston; Grace Horne Galleries, Boston, with the gallery label on the verso; private Maryland collection. This wonderful painting is an excellent and early example of Allan Crite's famous "neighborhood" series of paintings. While a student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and a member of the Boston Society of Independent Artists, Crite worked with the PWAP (Public Works of Art Project) briefly from February through April of 1934. According to Crite's 1979 interview with Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art, he and his mother, Annamae Crite, decided they could no longer accept the label of being "on relief," of taking government support. In addition, the Grace Horne Galleries on Newbury Street had begun showing his work--likely the first African-American artist to exhibit there. Crite painted many of these street scenes with children, and of everyday life of his Roxbury, Boston neighborhood that year, including Marble Players, Cambridge, Sunday Morning, Street Scene and Late Afternoon, each gifted from the artist to the Boston Athanæum, and exhibited in the 2001 Frye Art Museum exhibition Allan Rohan Crite, Artist-Reporter of the African-American Community. Street Scene and Late Afternoon are also dated "April 1934." Crite painted another view of this square, including the pharmacy and water fountain, in 1936, during his tenure in the WPA, which is in the collection of the St. Louis Art Museum.

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ELDZIER CORTOR (1916 -   ) Tête-à-Tête.

Lot 22: ELDZIER CORTOR (1916 - ) Tête-à-Tête.

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Description: ELDZIER CORTOR (1916 - ) Tête-à-Tête. Oil on canvas, mounted on masonite board, 1934. 419x355 mm; 16 1/2x14 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower right. Provenance: the artist; the collection of William McBride, Chicago; private collection, New York; thence by descent to the current owner. William McBride is listed as lending the painting to the 1978 exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He was also a WPA artist from Chicago, friend of Cortor and an avid collector of works by his fellow artists--he lent 17 works to this 1978 Studio Museum exhibition. Exhibited: New York/Chicago: WPA and the Black Artist, The Studio Museum in Harlem, November 13 - January 8, 1978; Three Masters: Eldzier Cortor, Hughie Lee-Smith, Archibald John Motley, Jr., Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, May 22 - July 17, 1988; Challenge of the Modern: African-American Artists 1925-1945, Volume I, The Studio Museum in Harlem, January 23 - March 30, 2003, with the exhibition label on the frame back. Illustrated: New York/Chicago: WPA and the Black Artist, The Studio Museum in Harlem. Tête-à-Tête is a remarkable and very rare painting by Eldzier Cortor, one of the earliest known and dated works by the artist, painted when he was an 18-year-old art student in Chicago during the Great Depression. Influenced by his mentor and leader of the Artists Craft Guild, George E. Neal, Cortor began to paint everyday scenes like this street encounter found in the Bronzeville neighborhood. This oil painting is in the rarified company of a handful of known works by Cortor from before 1939, which includes The Streetcar, 1937, in the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art, San Antonio. Most early works date from around 1939, including The Night Letter in the Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, and Southern Landscape (Southern Flood) in the Brooklyn Museum. In 1934, on Chicago's South Side, Eldzier Cortor was a high school classmate at Englewood High School of Margaret Burroughs, Charles Sebree and Charles White. They also attended Saturday classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduating from high school, Cortor took night classes at the Art Institute in 1936, and the following year, he was awarded a scholarship, allowing him to attend as a full time student. Unknown paintings from the 1930s were recorded by the artist in a list of works publicly exhibited: Abstract Composition No. 1, 1937, Mother and Child, 1938, Greek Coffee House, and But to Rest a Little, both 1939, the year he joined the easel division of the Federal Art Project of the WPA. The following year, he helped found the South Side Community Art Center with his former classmates Burroughs, Sebree and White. Schulman p. 103.

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LAWRENCE ARTHUR JONES (1910 - 1996) Chicago Slum.

Lot 23: LAWRENCE ARTHUR JONES (1910 - 1996) Chicago Slum.

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Description: LAWRENCE ARTHUR JONES (1910 - 1996) Chicago Slum. Watercolor and pencil on cream wove paper, 1938. 381x305 mm; 15x12 inches. Signed and dated in pencil, lower right recto, and lower left verso. Provenance: the artist; R. E. Pool, Talladega College (presented in 1960), according to the typed label on the frame back; private collection. Lawrence Jones was a painter and printmaker whose work is relatively unknown. He moved to Chicago from the Lynchburg, VA area with money raised by his town, to study at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1932. He was awarded a full scholarship, worked in the Federal Art Project and later was included in the prestigious Tanner Art Galleries' Exhibition of the Art of the American Negro (1851-1940) in the summer of 1940. Jones went on to teach art at Dillard University in New Orleans, and won a Rosenwald Scholarship to study in Mexico, where he worked at the Taller Gráfica Popular. He had a long teaching career, working at Fort Valley State College in Georgia, and became head of the art department at Jackson State Teachers College. His prints are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the St. Louis Art Museum.

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DOX THRASH (1893 - 1965) Man Selling Bread.

Lot 24: DOX THRASH (1893 - 1965) Man Selling Bread.

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Description: DOX THRASH (1893 - 1965) Man Selling Bread. Watercolor on wove paper, circa 1940. 343x260 mm; 13 1/2x10 1/4 inches, full margins. Signed in watercolor, lower right. Provenance: the artist; Emmanuel and Florence Walker, Civil Rights activists in Alabama and Harlem from the late 1940s through early 1960s; thence by descent to the current owner.

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HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980) Selections from the Atlanta Period.

Lot 25: HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980) Selections from the Atlanta Period.

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Description: HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980) Selections from the Atlanta Period. Portfolio of 8 linoleum cuts, circa 1931-1946. Each 482x380 mm; 19x15 inches (sheet), full margins, loose as issued. One of 300 numbered sets. Each numbered 298/300 in pencil, lower right. Printed by Robert Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop, New York, in 1996, with the blind stamp lower left. Published by the artist's wife and estate, with the blind stamp lower right. Includes: African Headdress * Old Church * Coming Home * Relics * By Parties Unknown * Giddap * Trusty on a Mule * Sunday Promenade. Each very good, dark impressions. With the original printed blue portfolio folder. This set is found in numerous New York collections, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Comrades.

Lot 26: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Comrades.

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Description: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Comrades. Lithograph on cream wove paper, 1943. 269x116 mm; 10 5/8x4 5/8 inches, full margins. From an edition of 35. Signed, titled, dated "11-24-43" and inscribed "To Alice A, Happy Birthday--9-48" in pencil, lower margin. A very good, dark impression of this extremely scarce print. We have not found another impression of this print at auction in the past 20 years. Another copy is in the collection of the North Carolina Central University Art Museum, Durham, NC.

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THELMA JOHNSON STREAT (1911 - 1959) Meatpacking House.

Lot 27: THELMA JOHNSON STREAT (1911 - 1959) Meatpacking House.

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Description: THELMA JOHNSON STREAT (1911 - 1959) Meatpacking House. Watercolor on paper, circa 1944-45. 787x1663 mm; 31x65 1/2 inches. Provenance: estate of the artist; thence by descent to the current owner. This striking mural study is an extraodinarily large paper maquette that has survived from the artist's post-WPA period. Streat was one of the few artists to paint directly with Diego Rivera on his Pan-American Unity mural at the 1940 Golden Gate Exposition. The state supervisor of the WPA project, Beatrice Judd Ryann, described them at work on the mural: "Rivera stands high up on the scaffold, his awkward bulk emphasized by the color girl, Thelma Streat, beside him, tall and slim in her blue jeans." The artist developed a number of studies and maquettes that were submitted designs for mural projects after she left San Francisco. The artist's estate also includes the large drawing or mural cartoon The Negro in Professional Life that was entered to a juried contest at the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago in 1944. Newspapers described a series of 12 more murals. According to Judy Bullington, Streat's work tied for first place. A 1945 article in The Oregonian newspaper sheds more light on this educational series and describes what Streat was planning: "Her plan is simple. Through the medium of murals painted with a simplicity which will have appeal to all children, regardless of race or creed, exactly what her people contribute to industry." In addition to a Chicago and New York mural, the article describes a Portland group "showing the Negro woman in Industry." This study was also featured in the August 24, 2009 "WPA Mural Studies" episode of the PBS television show History Detectives (Season 7, Episode 9). Bullington pp. 97-99.

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CLAUDE CLARK (1915 - 2001) Saturday Night.

Lot 28: CLAUDE CLARK (1915 - 2001) Saturday Night.

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Description: CLAUDE CLARK (1915 - 2001) Saturday Night. Carborundum mezzotint with hand coloring on cream paper, 1939-1941. 124x152 mm; 4 7/8x6 inches, full margins. Signed and titled in ink, lower margin. A very good, dark impression of this scarce print. With Raymond Steth's Wrapping Tobacco, lithograph printed in brown on the verso. Inscribed "#2" in pencil, lower margin, trimmed inside the image.

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CLAUDE CLARK (1915 - 2001) Thinker.

Lot 29: CLAUDE CLARK (1915 - 2001) Thinker.

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Description: CLAUDE CLARK (1915 - 2001) Thinker. Lithograph on cream paper, 1939-1941. 521x216 mm; 11x8 1/2 inches, full margins. Signed and titled in pencil, lower margin. A good, dark impression.

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CLAUDE CLARK (1915 - 2001) Steel.

Lot 30: CLAUDE CLARK (1915 - 2001) Steel.

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Description: CLAUDE CLARK (1915 - 2001) Steel. Oil on masonite board, 1942. 508x355 mm; 20x14 inches. Signed in oil, upper right recto.Titled and inscribed with the artist's Philadelphia address in pencil, upper right verso. Provenance: the artist, Philadelphia and Oakland, CA; estate of the artist. Claude Clark was an innovative painter and printmaker whose family moved from Alabama to Philadelphia in 1923. After winning a four-year scholarship to the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, he was supported by Dr. Albert C. Barnes, and in 1944, his painting Cutting Pattern was the second work by an African-American artist accepted into the Barnes Foundation, after one by Horace Pippin. Clark was a colleague of Dox Thrash and Raymond Steth in the Philadelphia Fine Print Workshop of the WPA from 1939-1942, where he helped develop carborundum etching. He returned to his native Alabama to give an art workshop at Talladega College in 1949. He stayed and eventually created the art department at the school, where he taught until 1955. His paintings and prints are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC and the de Young Museum, San Francisco. Messenger p. 48.

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WILLIAM BLACKBURN (1908 - 1993) Untitled (Young Woman with Arms Raised).

Lot 31: WILLIAM BLACKBURN (1908 - 1993) Untitled (Young Woman with Arms Raised).

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Description: WILLIAM BLACKBURN (1908 - 1993) Untitled (Young Woman with Arms Raised). Oil on canvas, 1945. 558x356 mm; 22x14 inches. Signed and dated in oil, upper right recto. Signed and inscribed with an indistinct address in pencil on the stretcher bars, verso. Provenance: private New Jersey collection. This dramatic work is only the second painting by this accomplished, but greatly overlooked artist to come to auction. William Thomas Blackburn, or 'Billy,' grew up in a small town in Catawba County, NC. After graduating from Hickory High School, he entered the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia where he studied for a year before moving to the Grand Central Art School in New York City. In the 1930s, Blackburn also studied at the Académie Julian in Paris, and later had an eight-month scholarship at Florence's National Academy. Blackburn's painting was clearly affected by the influence of Regionalism and the work of Thomas Hart Benton. While traveling across America in the late 1930s and early 1940s painting scenes of rural life, he always returned to North Carolina, where he had set up a studio. In the mid-1940s, Blackburn moved to California to work at United Artists Studios' art department, building and painting backgrounds for movies. The lighting of this work and works like Man with Seaweed, circa 1943, have a staged, cinematic quality. In October 1945, he joined the art department of Bullocks Wilshire department store, becoming chief designer for windows and displays until retiring in the mid-1970s. Blackburn was the subject of a retrospective at the Hickory Museum in 2006--these biographical notes come from the article by the guest curator Barry G. Huffman, "William Thomas Blackburn: An Artist Comes Home," published in American Art Review, April 2006.

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ROY DECARAVA (1919 - 2009) Untitled (Man in Blue Hat).

Lot 32: ROY DECARAVA (1919 - 2009) Untitled (Man in Blue Hat).

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Description: ROY DECARAVA (1919 - 2009) Untitled (Man in Blue Hat). Color screenprint on cream paper, 1945. 311x219 mm; 12 1/4x8 5/8 inches, full margins. Signed and dated in ink, lower right. Signed and inscribed "To Gene & Earle--Roy DeC" in pencil, on the mat. A very good, vivid impression of this scarce, early print. We have not found another impression of this print at auction in the past 20 years.

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ROY DECARAVA (1919 - 2009) Anya.

Lot 33: ROY DECARAVA (1919 - 2009) Anya.

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Description: ROY DECARAVA (1919 - 2009) Anya. Color screenprint on thin imitation Japan paper, 1949. 171x206 mm; 6 3/4x8 1/8 inches, full margins. Signed and dated in pencil, lower left. Signed, titled and numbered 1/48 in pencil, lower margin. A very good, fresh impression of this scarce print. We have not found another impression of this print at auction in the past 20 years.

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NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Magenta Haze.

Lot 34: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Magenta Haze.

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Description: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Magenta Haze. Oil on canvas, 1947. 610x914 mm; 24x36 inches. Signed and dated "3-7-47" in oil, lower right. Provenance: acquired directly from the artist, private collection, New York; thence by descent to the current owner. Exhibited: Willard Gallery, New York, March 1 - 26, 1949, with the label on the frame back. Magenta Haze was one of 15 paintings in the artist's first solo exhibition at Willard Gallery, at 32 East 57th Street, #12 on the exhibition "catalogue" checklist. Magenta Haze is an important and striking early abstract painting by Norman Lewis. It is also one of the earliest abstract paintings by the artist to come to auction, painted in the first full year of his work in abstraction. In both Magenta Haze and Twilight Sounds, also of 1947, in the collection of the St. Louis Art Museum, Lewis covers the canvas with an interwoven and linear abstraction, suggestive of a moving mass of figures. In Magenta Haze, the dense, sensual color of the ground adds tension to the painting as it surrounds the composition. In this late 1940s period, Norman Lewis was clearly inspired by jazz--Duke Ellington wrote his blues-inflected composition Magenta Haze in 1946. Other paintings from Lewis's first solo exhibition are in museum collections, including Metropolitan Crowd, 1946, in the Delaware Art Museum and Cantata, 1948, in the Dayton Art Institute.

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ROBERT BLACKBURN (1920 - 2003) Untitled (Still Life with Mandolin).

Lot 35: ROBERT BLACKBURN (1920 - 2003) Untitled (Still Life with Mandolin).

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Description: ROBERT BLACKBURN (1920 - 2003) Untitled (Still Life with Mandolin). Pen and ink on cream laid paper, circa 1947-50. 400x495 mm; 15 3/4x19 1/2 inches. Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; Adrienne E. Wheeler collection; private collection.

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ROMARE BEARDEN (1911 - 1988) Untitled (Woman and Still Life).

Lot 36: ROMARE BEARDEN (1911 - 1988) Untitled (Woman and Still Life).

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Description: ROMARE BEARDEN (1911 - 1988) Untitled (Woman and Still Life). Watercolor, brush and ink on cream wove paper, circa 1946-47. 483x622 mm; 19x24 1/2 inches. Signed in watercolor, upper right. Provenance: private Pennsylvania collection.

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RONALD JOSEPH (1910 - 1992) Untitled (Abstract Figures).

Lot 37: RONALD JOSEPH (1910 - 1992) Untitled (Abstract Figures).

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Description: RONALD JOSEPH (1910 - 1992) Untitled (Abstract Figures). Crayon and pastel on wove paper, circa 1950-55. 514x387 mm; 20 1/4x15 1/4 inches, full margins. Signed in crayon, lower right. Provenance: private collection.

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ROBERT BLACKBURN (1920 - 2003) Untitled (Modernist Still Life).

Lot 38: ROBERT BLACKBURN (1920 - 2003) Untitled (Modernist Still Life).

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Description: ROBERT BLACKBURN (1920 - 2003) Untitled (Modernist Still Life). Gouache on cream wove paper, circa 1948. 604x451 mm; 23 5/8x17 inches. Provenance: acquired from the artist; Adrienne E. Wheeler collection; private collection.

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NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Untitled (Black Abstraction).

Lot 39: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Untitled (Black Abstraction).

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Description: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Untitled (Black Abstraction). Oil on cream wove paper, 1949. 229x445 mm; 9x17 1/2 inches, full margins. Signed and dated in pencil, lower right. Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; Oral Lovell, Wellesley, MA; thence by descent to the current owner.

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NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Untitled (Black Vertical Abstraction).

Lot 40: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Untitled (Black Vertical Abstraction).

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Description: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Untitled (Black Vertical Abstraction). Pen and ink on cream wove paper, 1954. 432x406 mm; 17x16 inches, full margins. Signed and dated in pencil, lower right. Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; Oral Lovell, Wellesley, MA; thence by descent to the current owner.

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NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Untitled (Circular Procession of Figures).

Lot 41: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Untitled (Circular Procession of Figures).

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Description: NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979) Untitled (Circular Procession of Figures). Oil on canvas, 1953. 635x762 mm; 25x30 inches. Signed and dated "3-1953" in oil, lower left. Provenance: gift of the artist to Alice Hoecker, New York, circa 1953; acquired in 2004 from her estate; private collection, New York. Alice Hoecker was a painting student of Norman Lewis's at the Art Students League, and a friend of his from 1947 through 1954. Figures hold up several small signs with her initials--and in the lower left, next to the signature, a figure holds up a newspaper that reads "Extra AH." This swirling composition of calligraphic figures is an extraordinary example of Norman Lewis's "rituals" paintings, an early example from the 1950s with a scarce view into the psyche of the artist. The painting reveals a personal vision of the artist, depicted lower right in an artist's smock next to an easel. Norman Lewis has created an almost surreal cosmology of characters within this crowded, tumultuous procession--including clowns, hobos and cops among marching, walking and running figures.

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CHARLES SEBREE (1914 - 1985) Mother and Child.

Lot 42: CHARLES SEBREE (1914 - 1985) Mother and Child.

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Description: CHARLES SEBREE (1914 - 1985) Mother and Child. Oil on masonite board, circa 1950. 248x205 mm; 9 1/2x7 3/8 inches. Signed in oil, lower right. Provenance: acquired at auction, Treadway/Toomey, Chicago, March 11, 2011; private New York collection.

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CHARLES SEBREE (1924 - 1985) Untitled (Profile).

Lot 43: CHARLES SEBREE (1924 - 1985) Untitled (Profile).

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Description: CHARLES SEBREE (1924 - 1985) Untitled (Profile). Gouache and oil on paper, circa 1950. 356x254 mm; 14x10 inches. Provenance: private California collection.

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JOHN WILSON (1922 -   ) Boulevard de Strasbourg.

Lot 44: JOHN WILSON (1922 - ) Boulevard de Strasbourg.

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Description: JOHN WILSON (1922 - ) Boulevard de Strasbourg. Color lithograph on cream wove paper, 1950. 305x432 mm; 12x17 inches, full margins, with the registration marks on the right and left sides. Trial proof, aside from an edition of an unknown size. Signed, titled, dated and inscribed "Trial Proof" in pencil, lower margin. A very good, bright impression of this very scarce print. In 1947, John Wilson won the James William Paige Traveling Fellowship and moved to Paris, where he worked in Fernand Léger's studio. Here, Wilson's use of shapes and forms resemble the rotund, elongated compositions favored by his teacher. By 1950, Wilson earned the John Hay Whitney Fellowship and moved to Mexico City. Another trial proof of this print is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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JOHN WILSON (1922 -   ) Trabajador.

Lot 45: JOHN WILSON (1922 - ) Trabajador.

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Description: JOHN WILSON (1922 - ) Trabajador. Lithograph on cream wove paper, 1951. 470x311 mm; 18 1/2x12 1/4 inches, full margins. Signed, titled, dated and numbered 12/30 in pencil, lower margin. A very good, dark impression of this scarce print. We have only found one other record of this print at auction in the past 20 years. Another impression is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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JOHN WILSON (1922 -   ) Mexican Woman.

Lot 46: JOHN WILSON (1922 - ) Mexican Woman.

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Description: JOHN WILSON (1922 - ) Mexican Woman. Lithograph on cream wove paper, mounted to thin cardstock, 1951. 241x288 mm; 9 1/2x11 3/8 inches, 1/4-inch margins. Signed, titled, dated and numbered 33/30 in pencil, lower margin. A good, dark impression.

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ELIZABETH CATLETT (1915 - 2012) Niño del Mezquital.

Lot 47: ELIZABETH CATLETT (1915 - 2012) Niño del Mezquital.

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Description: ELIZABETH CATLETT (1915 - 2012) Niño del Mezquital. Lithograph on cream wove paper, 1961. 245x343 mm; 9 5/8x13 1/2 inches, full margins. Signed, dated and numbered 83/85 in pencil, lower margin. A very good, dark impression of this scarce print. We have only found one other impression of this print at auction in the past 20 years.

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ELIZABETH CATLETT (1915 - 2012) Sharecropper.

Lot 48: ELIZABETH CATLETT (1915 - 2012) Sharecropper.

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Description: ELIZABETH CATLETT (1915 - 2012) Sharecropper. Color linoleum cut on smooth cream wove paper, circa 1952. 452x425 mm; 17 5/8x16 1/2 inches, full margins. Signed and titled in pencil, lower margin. Printed and published by the artist at the Taller de Gráfica Popular, Mexico City. A very good impression of this important print. One of Catlett's most iconic images, Sharecropper was originally printed in 1952. She then published it as Cosechadora de algodón in the journal Artes de México in 1957. There is an additional edition of 60 in both black and color that was printed in 1970. Herzog p. 105.

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ERNEST CRICHLOW (1914 - 2005) Perplexed.

Lot 49: ERNEST CRICHLOW (1914 - 2005) Perplexed.

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Description: ERNEST CRICHLOW (1914 - 2005) Perplexed. Oil on cardstock board, 1951. 520x280 mm; 20 1/2x11 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower right. Provenance: ACA Gallery, New York, with gallery labels on the verso; private Pennsylvania collection. This fine oil is one of the earliest paintings by this New York social realist painter and printmaker to come to auction, and epitomizes his expressiveness. Crichlow captured the anxiety of the time through the figures and faces of the younger generation--another 1951 example is his sensitive lithograph, Cissy. Ernest Crichlow showed at ACA Gallery in a 1956 group exhibition, Negro History Week, and later had his first solo exhibition there in 1960.

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ELLIS WILSON (1899 - 1977) Boy Seated on a Chair.

Lot 50: ELLIS WILSON (1899 - 1977) Boy Seated on a Chair.

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Description: ELLIS WILSON (1899 - 1977) Boy Seated on a Chair. Oil on masonite board, circa 1950. 762x355 mm; 30x14 inches. Signed in oil, lower right. Provenance: private New York collection. Ellis Wilson was born in Kentucky and trained at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1920s. He moved to New York in 1928, where he was a regular exhibitor in important early exhibitions by African-American artists. Between 1941 and 1944, Wilson worked in an aircraft factory. His fellow workers became the subjects of several paintings that he submitted with his application for a Guggenheim Fellowship, which he won in 1944. Using the financial resources of his fellowship, Wilson traveled throughout the South, painting black workers. Wilson traveled to Haiti in 1952 on the first of several visits that resulted in a large body of work in his later, more abstract style.

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