Record-Setting African American Art Auction Gives Swann Galleries Highest-Ever Sales Total in Company History



BEAUFORD DELANEY, “Untitled (Village Street Scene),” 1948

 

APPLAUSE SWEPT THROUGH THE SALESROOM when a colorful mid-career canvas by Norman Lewis soared to $725,000*, three times the estimate. Bidders also clapped when a village street scene painted by Beauford Delaney (above) and “O Freedom,” a large-scale charcoal and crayon drawing by Charles White reached half a million dollars.

Swann Auction Galleries held its biannual African-American Fine Art sale Thursday and prime lots by Delaney, White, Hale Woodruff, and William H. Johnson rocketed past their high estimates, setting artist’s records. At least 12 artists achieved new benchmarks. The top lot, an untitled abstraction by Lewis, was bid up to the second-highest price paid at auction for a work by the late…

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