Records for Charles Alston, Wadsworth Jarrell, Augusta Savage and More in African American Art at Swann

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Charles Alston, Black and White #8, oil on linen canvas, 1961. Sold for $197,000, a record for the artist.
Charles Alston, Black and White #8, oil on linen canvas, 1961. Sold for $197,000, a record for the artist.

AFRICAN AMERICAN ART 

Sale 2554; December 10, 2020

Sale total: $2,761,105

Estimates for sale as a whole: $2,220,000–$2,229,500 

We offered 211 lots; 174 sold (82% sell-through rate by lot)

All prices include Buyer’s Premium.

Quote from Director of African American Art Nigel Freeman: “Despite the turbulent year, I am thrilled to see the continued growth of our sales, and the rising recognition of the great artists featured: from Harlem Renaissance masters Augusta Savage and Charles Alston to prized postwar painters Wadsworth Jarrell and John Robinson. We had a tremendous level of interest in the sale overall with an increasing diverse audience of individual collectors and institutions from around the world.”

Key: † = Auction Record for the Artist; * = Second Highest Price at Auction

Additional Artist Records: Lot 35 – Edward Loper, Sr., $13,750; Lot 37 – Gloucester Caliman Coxe, $10,625; Lot 144 – Frank Hayden, $10,000; Lot 3 – James V. Herring, $7,500; and Lot 126 – Lev Mills, $5,750

Auction Debuts: Lot 209 – Tyrone Geter, $9,375

Augusta Savage, Gamin, plaster painted gold, circa 1929. Sold for $112,500, a record for the artist.
Augusta Savage, Gamin, plaster painted gold, circa 1929. Sold for $112,500, a record for the artist.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Captions:

Lot 41: Charles Alston, Black and White #8, oil on linen canvas, 1961. Sold for $197,000, a record for the artist.

Lot 11: Augusta Savage, Gamin, plaster painted gold, circa 1929. Sold for $112,500, a record for the artist.

Specialist: Nigel Freeman • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 3

Chief Marketing Officer: Alexandra Nelson • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 19

Public Relations Associate: Kelsie Jankowski • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 23

Social Media: @swanngalleries 

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PRINTED CATALOGUE & ADDL. DIGITAL IMAGES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Swann Auction Galleries is a third-generation family business as well as the world’s largest auction house for works on paper. In the last 75 years, Swann has repeatedly revolutionized the trade with such innovations as the first U.S. auction dedicated to photographs and the world’s only department of African-American Fine Art. More than 30 auctions and previews are held annually in Swann Galleries’ two-floor exhibition space in Midtown Manhattan, and online worldwide. Visit swanngalleries.com for more information.

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James Ardis
James Ardis
Senior Writer and Editor

James Ardis is a writer, editor, and content strategist focused on the auction industry. His company, James Ardis Writing, has partnered with auction houses, galleries, and many clients outside the art world.

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