Feb 13, 2014 - Sale 2338

Sale 2338 - Lot 8

Price Realized: $ 13,750
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
PAULINE POWELL BURNS (1876 - 1912)
Violets.

Oil on thin cardstock, circa 1890. Approximately 216x317 mm; 8 1/2x12 1/2 inches.

Provenance: gift of Mrs. Elbert (Ann) Powell, Oakland, CA, to a private collection (1972); thence by descent to the current owner. With the provenance inscribed in ink on the verso.

Violets is not only beautiful but is extremely scarce. It is the only example that we have located by an artist who was described as the first African-American painter to exhibit in California. Pauline Powell Burns, whose grandmother was a slave at Monticello, was born and raised in Oakland. She became known as both an accomplished painter, and a talented classical pianist who gave public recitals. Powell was described by James A. Porter in his Modern Negro Art as "a gifted woman artist at work in 1890...born in Oakland, June 27, 1876 and reared in a community that afforded her many advantages of education and environment. M. A. Majors in his Noted Negro Women reports that she produced very fine paintings, some which were exhibited in Oakland in 1890, and were the first works to be shown by a Negro artist in California." Porter p. 68.