Feb 17, 2009 - Sale 2169

Sale 2169 - Lot 20

Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
"Via Quirinale," Rome.

Watercolor over pencil, circa 1938. 230x177 mm; 9x7 inches. Signed in ink, lower left recto. Titled in pencil, verso. Signed, titled and dedicated "A Souvenir of Rome from the Artist...To Löis Jones" in ink on the mat.

Provenance: the artist, Paris; Löis Mailou Jones, Washington, DC; Céline Tabary, Washington, DC; private Maryland collection. With Tabary's name and Washington,
DC address inscribed in ink on the back of the frame.

Albert Alexander Smith befriended Löis Mailou Jones during her first stay in Paris in 1937-38, when she studied at the Académie Julian. Céline Tabary was a French classmate of Jones who quickly became both an interpreter and close friend of hers. She and Tabary both traveled to Rome in the summer of 1938 before Jones returned to the U.S. to resume teaching at Howard University.

Albert Alexander Smith moved to Paris in 1920 after graduating from the National Academy of Design School in New York. Smith traveled throughout Europe and drew many views of European cities. Smith is one of the few known African-American printmakers working in the early 1920s. He found a patron in New York collector and dealer Arthur Schomburg, who ordered works from Smith for his own collection and for resale. Benjamin pp. 29 and 31; Leininger-Miller, pp. 232-34.