Swann Galleries will open the new decade in style, with a sale of African-American Art from the Johnson Publishing Company on Thursday, January 30. The collection—which hung in the publishing house’s historic offices on 820 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago—will feature paintings, sculpture and works on paper from diverse periods over the last century, with 75 artists represented. Hung together in a single exhibition for the first time, the Johnson Publishing Company’s art collection makes a powerful statement, demonstrating the company’s longstanding recognition and support of visual artists.
The earliest work in the sale comes from 1912: Henry Ossawa Tanner’s beautiful oil-on-canvas Moonrise by Kasbah (Morocco) depicts figures outside the stark, steep exterior walls of a Moroccan Kasbah. The significant midcareer painting carries the highest estimate of the collection, at $150,000 to $250,000.
The collection features a strong selection of landscapes, as well as images of day-to-day life. Walter H. Williams’s oil on canvas White Butterfly, 1969, from his Southern Landscape series, depicts a pensive young girl picking wildflowers in a field ($30,000-40,000), while William Edouard Scott’s 1929 impressionist-style oil on canvas features a young boy picking a pumpkin ($15,000-25,000). Also of note is The Builders (The Family), a 1974 color screenprint by Jacob Lawrence, available at $5,000 to $7,000, and Barbara Johnson Zuber’s circa 1970 oil on canvas Jump Rope, which depicts a group of girls with red bows in their braids playing Double Dutch, expected to bring $1,000 to $1,500.
An offering of oil on canvas works by Loïs Mailou Jones includes Bazar Du Quai, Port Au Prince, Haiti, 1961 ($20,000-30,000), Vielle Rue, Montmartre (Rue Pinteau), 1965 ($15,000-25,000), and Boats at Théoule, 1965 ($10,000-15,000).
Exhibition opening in New York City January 25. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.
Additional highlights can be found .
Henry Ossawa Tanner, Moorise by Kasbah Morocco), oil on canvas, 1912. From the collection of the Johnson Publishing Company. Estimate $150,000 to $250,000.
: Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled, detail, seven panels of framed chromogenic prints and sandblasted text on glass, 1996-97. From the collection of the Johnson Publishing Company. Estimate $100,000 to $150,000.
: Kenneth Victor Young, Upper Egypt, acrylic on canvas, 1971. From the collection of the Johnson Publishing Company. Estimate $80,000 to $120,000.
: Elizabeth Catlett, Sister, cast bronze, with brushed patina & white inlaid eyes, mounted on a wooden base, 1973. From the collection of the Johnson Publishing Company. Estimate $50,000 to $75,000.