Pieces from Maya Angelou’s Art Collection, With Selections From Faith Ringgold and Elizabeth Catlett Will Be Up For Auction.
(Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Maya Angelou.)
Throughout her career and up until her death in May of 2014, writer, poet, and activist Maya Angelou was an avid art collector. Her 500-piece collection boasts a number of iconic and influential African-American artists as well as many artists whose primary subjects were African-Americans.
Forty-three pieces from Angelou’s collection will go up for auction, next month, through the African-American fine art department at Swann Galleries.
“The collection of Dr. Angelou shows the natural affinity this great American poet, writer, thinker and educator had with many visual artists,” noted Nigel Freeman, the auction house’s director of African-American art, in a statement.
The catalog for the sale, titled “The Art Collection of Maya Angelou,” opens with an essay from the late poet’s son, Guy Johnson:
For my mother, paintings, sculpture, dance and music were ways of translating the intangible into digestible bites; these forms of art were ways of expressing feelings and emotions that resisted the confinement of words. She appreciated a well- turned, lyrical phrase as much as the lines and contours of a well sculpted figure or the transcending brush strokes that accent an image or the ones that balance the composition of colors in a painting. If she saw a beautiful dance piece or heard a phenomenal musical riff or melody she would talk about it admiringly for days afterward. Imagination and creativity were the central pillars of her work life.
(Jonathan Green, Wading in the Surf.)
(Elizabeth Catlett, Madonna.)
(Romare Bearden, Falling Star)
(Faith Ringgold, Maya’s Quilt of Life.)