Feb 17, 2009 - Sale 2169

Sale 2169 - Lot 56

Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 20,000
AARON DOUGLAS (1899 - 1979)
Portrait of Alta.

Pastel on illustration board, 1959. 388x265 mm; 15 1/4x10 1/2 inches. Signed and dated in pastel, lower right.

Provenance: private Pennsylvania collection.

In this poignant portrait of the artist's wife, drawn the year after her death, Douglas revisits his earlier portraits from the 1920s. In 1925-26, Douglas and his teacher Winold Reiss did pastel portraits of their friends, including such Harlem Renaissance figures as Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. Alta Sawyer and Aaron Douglas were married on June 18, 1926. They lived in Harlem, first on Striver's Row at 227 West 139th Street, and then in 1932 they moved to an apartment at 409 Edgecombe Avenue.