Thursday, February 28, 2013

Swann Auction Galleries 2013 Sale of African American Fine Arts.

February has come and gone.  Once again we review the regular February Swann Gallery Auction of African American Fine Arts. 

Sale No.2303. was held this year at Swann’s Manhattan sale rooms on Thursday February 14, 2013.

Offered for sale were 147 art pieces including prints, oils, drawings and sculptures by noted artists.

The auction results regularly exceeded the pre-sale estimates perhaps reflecting the strength of Wall Street in recent weeks.  Four pieces sold for over $100,000; six pieces sold for more than $50,000; seventeen sold for more than $20,000 and 35 pieces were sold for more than $10,000.

A sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett (Lot 141) sold for $95,000 and 14 linoleum cuts titled “I am a Black Woman” sold as a single lot (#147) for $75,000.  Other individual pieces by Catlett sold within the range of $2,000 to $10,000.

Interest in the work of Romare Bearden was strong.  Lot 87 sold for $6,500 well above the pre-auction estimate of $3,000 - $5,000.  The commemorative stamp issued by the USPS has kept the Bearden name and a good sample of his images before the public for much of the 2012 calendar year.

Artist Willis Bing Davis, a Dayton, Ohio resident whose work is regularly shown in central Ohio was the only Ohio artist represented in the Swann Galleries auction.  One of his Urban Masks was listed in the catalog as Lot 127 with a pre-sale estimate of $1,500 - $2,500.

The Swann Galleries interest in African Americana continues with a March 21 auction of printed items and manuscripts.  This sale is numbered as Sale 2308.  Offered for auction are items of interest such as certificates of freedom for three former slaves (Lot 26) a manuscript pass for a Freeman named Sam Johns (Lot 27)

The auction also has printed materials from the 1970s and 1980s. Lots 201 and 202 are striking posters by artist Emery Douglas.  Lot 201 carries the message “This Will Mean the End of Our Dreams for the Class War…” and a pre-auction estimate of $1,500 - $2,500.  Lot 202 carries the message “The Heirs of Malcolm have Picked up the Gun and Now Stand Millions Strong Facing the Racist Pig” and its pre-auction estimate is $400 - $600.

Catalogs for Sale 2303 (Fine Arts) and Sale 2308 (Prints and Manuscripts) are available at the Swann Auction Galleries website:

Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.  Bexley Public Radio Foundation.

No comments: