African American Art: April 2021 Auction Highlights

At Auction April 22, 2021

Lot 86: Nelson Stevens, Yes, We Will, mixed media, 1972. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

Early 20th Century & Harlem Renaissance

Featuring the works of Henry Ossawa Tanner, Grafton Tyler Brown, Aaron Douglas, Norman Lewis, Charles White, sculptures by Richmond Barthé, and photographs by James VanDerZee.

Lot 10: Aaron Douglas, Head of Boy (Portrait of Langston Hughes), woodcut, circa 1926. Estimate $5,000 to $7,000.

Modern Art

A significant oil painting on canvas by Joseph Delaney, Artist’s Studio Party, 1940, and Elizabeth Catlett’s cast bronze Pensive, 1946, as well as prints, paintings, and drawings, by Allan Rohan Crite, Margaret Burroughs, Hartwell Yeargans, Charles McGee, and others.

Lot 28: Joseph Delaney, Artist’s Studio Party, oil on canvas, 1940. Estimate $100,000 to $150,000.
Lot 38: Elizabeth Catlett, Pensive, cast bronze, 1946. Estimate $50,000 to $75,000.

Post-War Art

Featuring a group of works by AfriCOBRA artists, several significant paintings by Romare Bearden, Beauford Delaney, Alma W. Thomas, Samella Lewis, Sam Gilliam and Hale Woodruff. Also included are woodcuts by Walter H. Williams, screenprints by Jacob Lawrence, and Charles White’s exquisite 1972 etching Pope X, alongside his scarce 1971 color lithograph Blues.

Lot 92: Charles White, Pope X, etching, 1972. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.
Lot 68: Alma W. Thomas, Untitled (Garden Composition), watercolor, circa 1969. Estimate $12,000 to $18,000.

Collection of the Ness Oleson Trust

Worked from the collection of the late Frannie Ness and Gary Oleson, who were the proprietors of Waiting for Godot Books of Hadley, MA, includes both fine and self-taught artists, 1970s abstraction, .

Lot 101: Beauford Delaney, Untitled (Tent Interior), color pastels, 1951. Estimate $30,000 to $40,000.
Lot 109: Winfred Rembert, Dolls Head Baseball, dyes on tooled and carved leather, circa 1990. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

20th Century Contemporary

Featuring Howardena Pindell’s Oval Memory Series: (Rhinoceros) Heaven, 1980-81, multiple pieces by Betye Saar, Romare Bearden, and Elizabeth Catlett, paintings by Hughie Lee-Smith, Loïs Mailou Jones, Ed Clark, Frank W. Wimberly, photographs by Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems, and works by Kerry James Marshall, David Hammons, and Faith Ringgold.

Lot 122: Howardena Pindell, Oval Memory Series: (Rhinoceros) Heaven, mixed media, 1980-81. Estimate $50,000 to $75,000.
Lot 162: Betye Saar, Sojourn, mixed media assemblage in a wooden box, 1995. Estimate $25,000 to $35,000.

21st Century Contemporary

Recent works by Rashid Johson, Dindga McCannon, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Sir Frank Bowling, OBE RA, Julie Mehretu, Danny Simmons, Larry Walker, Deanna Lawson, Wosene Worke Kosrof, and others.

Lot 208: Vanessa German, You Bring Out the Savage in Me #1, mixed media assemblage, 2013. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.
Lot 215: Dindga McCannon, Mary Lou Williams, Jazz Pianist, mixed media quilt assemblage, 2017. Estimate $40,000 to $60,000.

What You Need to Know on Auction Day

This auction will be held live and conducted remotely.

There will not be bidding in the room, though we accept order bids, and interested buyers will be able to participate live via the Swann Galleries App. The app is available in the App Store and on Google Play, which can also be accessed on a desktop at

Please note: phone bidding registrations will close the day before the sale at 4pm. 

At this time, our exhibition and auction location at 104 East 25th Street is closed to the public. Private viewings are available by appointment only, and must be arranged in advance. To make an appointment please contact the specialist.


Nigel Freeman

Director, African American Art

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