Oct 06, 2011 - Sale 2255

Sale 2255 - Lot 18

Price Realized: $ 18,000
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
AUGUSTA SAVAGE (1892 - 1962) AND NORMAN LEWIS (1909 - 1979)
The Hubert Log Cabin.

Carved (by Augusta Savage) and painted (by Norman Lewis) wood panel, circa 1935. Approximately 457x610x46 mm; 18x24x1 5/8 inches. Signed "Savage & Lewis" in oil, lower right. With a partial label, typed "The Hub...at Gay Head, Mass. by Augusta Savage and Norman Lewis," affixed lower center.

Provenance: the artists; Hubert family, Gay Head (now Aq
uinnah), MA; thence by descent to the current owner, private collection.

This extraordinary find is the first known collaborative work of these great artists of the Harlem Renaissance and the WPA. Carved by Augusta Savage and painted by Norman Lewis, their interpretation of the Hubert family's cabin was a gift to their hosts on Martha's Vineyard at the time.

Norman Lewis and Augusta Savage met in Harlem in the early 1930s. In 1932, Savage was elected to the National Association of Women Painters, was represented by Argent Galleries and founded her Studio of Arts and Crafts in Harlem. Lewis took classes from her while attending Columbia University and the John Reed Club Art school from 1933 to 1935. In 1933, Savage expanded her studio and founded the Harlem Art Workshop at 306 West 141st Street. Lewis also was accepted into the Federal Arts Project of the WPA, and joined Savage at the "306" and the Harlem Arts Guild. By 1937, Savage was named the first director of the Harlem Community Art Center, under the auspices of the WPA, where Lewis taught classes.

Augusta Savage and Norman Lewis stayed at the Hubert family cabin during the summer of 1935. They were guests of the great-grandparents of the current owners, and stayed at the cabin while the family lived in the Stone House. The family recounted how the artists' visit caused some excitement, given their profession and the disparity in their ages. According to the family, Norman Lewis also painted some murals on the walls of the Stone House. Unfortunately, the building lost its roof in a hurricane, and in the time before it was repaired, the murals were lost. Bearden/Henderson pp. 173 and 317; Farrington pp. 103-105.