Feb 17, 2009 - Sale 2169

Sale 2169 - Lot 5

Price Realized: $ 4,800
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,000
EDWIN A. HARLESTON (1882 - 1931)
Seated Nude.

Charcoal drawing on cream laid paper, 1909. 610x330 mm; 24x13 inches. L. Berville (France) watermark. Initialed and dated in charcoal, lower right. Time stain, scattered spotting and wear.

Provenance: the artist; Edwina Harleston Whitlock; thence by descent to the current owner, Atlanta, GA. This drawing is the only known surviving work from his studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Early 20th century portrait painter, Edwin A. Harleston was one of the few African-American artists of the period to benefit from an elite university education. He moved to Boston in 1906 after being accepted as a junior at Harvard University, transfering there from Atlanta University. But he soon decided to pursue his love of drawing and painting instead, and enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He was the only African-American in a first year class of 232 students. Financial difficulties forced Harleston to drop out in 1907. He found a job working on a cargo ship that traveled between Boston and Canada, and earned enough money to return to school in 1908. In 1911, on the recommendation of his professors, Harleston received a scholarship in order for him to complete his studies. By the end of 1912, he left Boston and returned to Charleston. Botsch, African-Americans and South Carolina: History, Politics, and Culture.