Richard L. Brown Painting to be Offered in Oct.; NY Times Profile of the Artist, 1912


Our auction of African-American Fine Art on October 8th will feature the Richard L. Brown painting Mt. Monadnock, 1911 (above), which is expected to sell between $5,000 and $7,000.

A remarkable rediscovery, this gouache is one of only three works by Richard L. Brown known today. He was one of the few African-American artists to achieve some critical and commercial acclaim in the U.S. at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A self-taught artist, Brown grew up in West Virginia and found guidance in New York with the painter George DeForest Brush and officials at the New York office of the NAACP. Brown managed to capture the attention of art writers, and soon his works were described in The New York Times and small journals. Alain Locke’s Negro Art: Past and Present from 1936 and James Porter’s Modern Negro Art from 1943 also recorded his early contributions. Porter described Brown as one of “two of the most talented men of this epoch [who] died in mid-career before fufilling early promises.”
Mt. Monadnock is illustrated in The New York Times article “Negro Youth Amazes Artists by his Talent,” from March 1912. The caption reads, “one of the best examples of the young artist’s work.” Brown received a lengthy profile in the article on the eve of his first solo exhibition at Ovington Brothers on Park Avenue in New York City.