African American Art

Founded by Nigel Freeman in 2006, the African American Art department handles a range of material spanning the late nineteenth century to the Harlem Renaissance, as well as modern and contemporary art. Sales consistently break auction records for well-known artists and establish records for artists with no previous auction history.

Swann holds the record for Abstract Expressionist master Norman Lewis, selling the oil painting Untitled (pictured here) for $965,000 in December 2015. We also lead the market in works by John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, Sam Gilliam, Barkley Hendricks, Hughie Lee-Smith, Faith Ringgold, Charles White and Hale Woodruff.

Important collections handled by the department include The Art Collection of Dr. Maya Angelou, The Golden State Mutual Life African-American Art Collection and The Richard A. Long Collection.

Swann remains the only major auction house with a team dedicated to African-American Fine Art. After more than a decade, our sales are followed closely by top collectors and curators across a broad spectrum.


Nigel Freeman

(212) 254-4710 ext. 33

Corey Serrant

(212) 254-4710 ext. 29

Department ScheduleSee Past Auctions

Dec 10

African American Art

Sale 2554
Consignment Deadline: October 1 — Submit Material

Winter 2021

The Artists of the WPA

A curated auction presenting WPA-era artwork, photographs, and related material. The New Deal and its related agencies represented an unprecedented investment in art and artists, setting the scene for the twentieth century's art movements, and establishing the careers of diverse creatives, including women, Black artists, photographers, and muralists. Consign Now

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