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Exploring art by and about people of African descent, primarily through the lens of books, magazines and catalogs, Culture Type features original research and reporting and shares invaluable interestingness culled from the published record on black art.

Auctions
Hundreds of African American Artifacts Hit the Auction Block at Guernsey's: Rosa Parks House Went Unsold, Unpublished Malcolm X Material Landed at Schomburg

Hundreds of African American Artifacts Hit the Auction Block at Guernsey’s: Rosa Parks House Went Unsold, Unpublished Malcolm X Material Landed at Schomburg

  SPANNING CIVIL RIGHTS, SLAVERY, MUSIC AND FILM, historic treasures and one-of-a-kind documents related to key figures of African American history and culture were auctioned at Guernsey’s in New York on July 25 and 26. The headliner was a true rarity—the family home of Rosa Parks, which once stood in Detroit, where it had been...
At Sotheby's, New Painting by Lorna Simpson Sets Artist's First Six-Figure Record

At Sotheby’s, New Painting by Lorna Simpson Sets Artist’s First Six-Figure Record

Lorna Simpson in her studio with “Day for Night” (2018) panels before they are painted.   AN ARCHIVAL IMAGE of a woman standing precariously on the window ledge of a brick building inspired “Day for Night” (2018), a four-panel painting by Lorna Simpson. The new work sold for $375,000 including fees at Sotheby’s New York...
Studio Museum in Harlem Sale Raises $20.2 Million at Sotheby's, Yields 24 Artist Records

Studio Museum in Harlem Sale Raises $20.2 Million at Sotheby’s, Yields 24 Artist Records

WATCH The sale of Mark Bradford’s “Speak, Birdman” (2018) to benefit the Studio Museum in Harlem’s new building fund. Bids started at $1.6 million and quickly climbed to $5.8 million, the hammer price, which amounted to $6,776,200 with fees. | Video by Sotheby’s   FIFTY YEARS AFTER AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS played a prominent role in...
Njideka Akunyili Crosby Sets New Auction Record with Non-Figurative Painting, Proceeds Benefit Studio Museum in Harlem

Njideka Akunyili Crosby Sets New Auction Record with Non-Figurative Painting, Proceeds Benefit Studio Museum in Harlem

“Bush Babies” (2017) by Njideka Akunyili Crosby.   THE AUCTION PRICE FOR A PAINTING by Njideka Akunyili Crosby climbed a bit higher last week. “Bush Babies” by the Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based artist sold for nearly $3.4 million including fees at Sotheby’s New York, a new artist record. Her previous high was just north of $3...
Two 1970s-Era Portraits by Barkley L. Hendricks Top $2 Million at Sotheby's, Shattering the Artist's Previous Record

Two 1970s-Era Portraits by Barkley L. Hendricks Top $2 Million at Sotheby’s, Shattering the Artist’s Previous Record

BARKLEY L. HENDRICKS, “Brenda P,” 1974   A STRIKING PORTRAIT of a statuesque woman named Brenda P set a new auction record for Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) on Wednesday at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. The 1974 painting sold for $2.1 million including fees, which was twice the high estimate and shattered...
Kerry James Marshall's 'Past Times' Soars to Record-Setting $21.1 Million at Sotheby's, Artist Assumes Mantle as Most Expensive Living African American Artist

Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Past Times’ Soars to Record-Setting $21.1 Million at Sotheby’s, Artist Assumes Mantle as Most Expensive Living African American Artist

  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...
Creating Space: Here's the List of 42 Artists Whose Works Are For Sale at Sotheby's to Benefit the Studio Museum in Harlem

Creating Space: Here’s the List of 42 Artists Whose Works Are For Sale at Sotheby’s to Benefit the Studio Museum in Harlem

Lot 3: LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “An Assistance of Amber,” 2017 (oil on linen). | Estimate $100,000-$150,000. Sold for $555,000 including fees   THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM and Sotheby’s are collaborating on a major sale of works by some of the most prominent and critically recognized artists of African descent working today. Artists including Mark Bradford,...
Known for His Revolutionary Black Power Images, Wadsworth Jarrell Started Painting Horse Race Scenes in the 1960s

Known for His Revolutionary Black Power Images, Wadsworth Jarrell Started Painting Horse Race Scenes in the 1960s

“Untitled (Horserace)” by Wadsworth Jarrell.   BEYOND THE INFLUENTIAL REALM of major auction houses in art centers such as New York, London, and Hong Kong, and even Los Angeles and Chicago, there are hundreds of smaller, longstanding local businesses selling second-hand valuables, from antique furniture, watches, and china to fine art. In the United States,...
Priced to Set New Artist Record, 'Past Times' by Kerry James Marshall is Consigned to Sotheby's by Chicago Convention Center

Priced to Set New Artist Record, ‘Past Times’ by Kerry James Marshall is Consigned to Sotheby’s by Chicago Convention Center

KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, “Past Times,” 1997 (acrylic and collage on unstretched canvas). | Estimate $8 million-$12 million. Sold for $21.1 million including fees ($18.5 million hammer price). RECORD   MARQUIS WORKS BY AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS are increasingly showing up at major auction houses. The latest is “Past Times” by Kerry James Marshall, which is being...
Phillips: Recent Contemporary Auctions Include New Records for African American Artists Stanley Whitney and Hugo McCloud; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Among Top Lots

Phillips: Recent Contemporary Auctions Include New Records for African American Artists Stanley Whitney and Hugo McCloud; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Among Top Lots

Lot 148: LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “The Separate,” 2011 (oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm, 63 x 78 3/4 inches). | Estimate £100,000-£150,000. Sold for £237,000 ($327,629) including fees. TOP TEN LOT: Ranked No. 5 in results   A NUMBER OF WORKS BY AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS stood out at Phillips contemporary art sales in London last...
Record-Setting African American Art Auction Gives Swann Galleries Highest-Ever Sales Total in Company History

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...
Early Work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby Tops Sotheby's Second Sale Devoted to African Modern & Contemporary Art

Early Work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby Tops Sotheby’s Second Sale Devoted to African Modern & Contemporary Art

AN ANDY-WARHOL-STYLE PORTRAIT made by Njideka Akunyili Crosby while she was in graduate school sold for more than twice its estimate at Sotheby’s London this week. The auction house held its second sale dedicated to Modern & Contemporary African Art on March 28, and “À La Warhol,” a four-image self-portrait by the Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based...
Sotheby's Contemporary Auctions: Exploring Tension Between Security and Exclusion, Hurvin Anderson Painting Tops $1 Million

Sotheby’s Contemporary Auctions: Exploring Tension Between Security and Exclusion, Hurvin Anderson Painting Tops $1 Million

Lot 11: HURVIN ANDERSON, “Some People (Welcome Series),” 2004 (oil on canvas, 150 by 232 cm. 59 by 91 3/8 inches). | Estimate £600,000—£800,000 ($832,560-$1,110,080). | Sold for £850,000 ($1,179,460) Hammer Price – £1,029,000 GBP ($1,427,840) including fees   A SIGNIFICANT PAINTING by Hurvin Anderson topped $1 million at Sotheby’s London on March 7. A...
Auction Record: Lorna Simpson 'Cloud' Work Sets New Benchmark for the Artist

Auction Record: Lorna Simpson ‘Cloud’ Work Sets New Benchmark for the Artist

LORNA SIMPSON, “Cloud,” 2005.   FEATURING AN ICONIC CLOUD ELEMENT, a major work by Lorna Simpson sold for $70,000 ($87,500 including fees) at Sotheby’s New York earlier this month. The price was an artist record, according Ask Art, Art Price, and Sotheby’s auction results. “Cloud,” a 2005 serigraph printed on felt in nine parts was...