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 2019 auction record for Elizabeth Catlett, and the 2018 auction record for Beauford Delaney. We also lead the market in works by Richmond Barthé, John Biggers, Aaron Douglas, Sam Gilliam, Barkley Hendricks, Norman Lewis, Hughie Lee-Smith, Faith Ringgold, Carrie Mae Weems, Charles White and Hale Woodruff.
The department has also held the single-owner auctions of the estate of Dr. Maya Angelou and the collections of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company and the Johnson Publishing Company, Swann's first white glove auction.
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.
NewsSee all news
Records & Results: Spring 2022 Auction of African American ArtApril 05, 2022
Collectors on Collecting: A Conversation with Bernard I. Lumpkin of “Young, Gifted and Black”April 04, 2022
Artist Profile: Hughie Lee-SmithMarch 23, 2022
Department ScheduleSee Past Auctions