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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beauford's Self-Portrait at Swann Galleries African-American Fine Art Auction

Once again, Beauford's work was represented at the Swann Galleries African-American Fine Art Auction. The most recent sale was held on February 14, 2013. This time, the painting auctioned was an exquisite self-portrait (Lot 73) that I had not seen before.

(1964) Oil on linen canvas
470x337 mm; 18 1/2x13 1/4 inches.
Signed, dated and inscribed "Paris" in oil, verso.

Image courtesy of Swann Galleries
This painting was last held by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which acquired it in 2011. It was previously owned by Louise Taylor, St. Michael, MD; Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York (1999); and John Axelrod, Boston (1999). It was exhibited in a show called Selections from the Collection of John P. Axelrod at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Philips Exeter Academy, Andover, MA, August 31 - October 31, 1999 and at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, 1999, with the labels on the frame back.

Swann Galleries describes the painting as follows:
This modern self-portrait is a striking example of an important body of work--Beauford Delaney made self-portraits throughout his career, from the 1930s through the 1970s. This work is done at the height of his Paris period, the same year as Delaney's solo exhibition at Galerie Lambert in Paris, where he showed both portraits and abstract canvases. There is another 1964 self-portrait, with a cigarette on a yellow background, in the collection of the Reinfrank family, and a very similar Self-Portrait, 1965, in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art and illustrated on the cover of David Leeming's biography, Amazing Grace: a Life of Beauford Delaney.
The estimated sale price for this piece was $20,000-$30,000. It sold for $30,000*.

*At auction, there are two prices--the hammer price, or the price at which the item sells during the auction, and the price with the buyer's premium. All auction houses have a buyer's premium that the buyer pays to the auction house on top of the hammer price. Swann's premium is 20%. The prices indicated in this article are hammer prices.

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