Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Past Times’ Soars to Record-Setting $21.1 Million at Sotheby’s, Artist Assumes Mantle as Mo…


A GRAND-SCALE PAINTING by Kerry James Marshall had bidders battling last night. Marshall’s “Past Times” (1997) soared beyond the high estimate and sold for $18.5 million ($21.1 million, including fees). The high bid came by phone, setting an artist record.

The painting was featured in Sotheby’s May 16 Contemporary Art Evening Auction and carried a pre-sale estimate of $8 million-$12 million. The estimate exceeded Marshall’s existing record at auction, guaranteeing a new high mark if the painting sold. Given this, the record-setting price was not unexpected. Less anticipated was how high the price ultimately climbed, selling for four times the artist’s previous high.

Last November, Marshall’s auction record was set when his portrait of Harriet Tubman sold for…

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