Feb 23, 2010 - Sale 2203

Sale 2203 - Lot 17

Price Realized: $ 8,400
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000
ALLAN ROHAN CRITE (1910 - 2007)
Sterling Street, Boston, Mass.

Watercolor, pen, ink and wash on cream wove paper, 1939. 380x280 mm; 15x11 inches. Signed, initialed, titled and dated "Sept. 1939" in brown ink, lower right recto. Signed, inscribed "Near the little African Orthodox Church" and "2 Alsworth St, Boston, Mass" (the artist's address) in brown ink, lower right verso. Also inscribed "The little African Orthodox Church off Sterling Street" in pencil, lower right verso.

Provenance: acquired directly from the artist, with the artist's Crite House Museum label on the verso; private collection; thence by descent to the current owner.

Sterling Street, Boston, Mass is an early drawing that epitomize's Crit'es "Neighborhood Series" from the 1930s and 40s--his observations of the street activities of African Americans in Boston's Roxbury and South End districts. Crite participated briefly in the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) in 1934, and the Federal Art Project, WPA, for a little less than a year in 1936.

Crite best summarizes the series: "My intention in the neighborhood paintings, and some drawings, was to show aspects of life in the city with special reference to the use of the terminology 'black' people and to present them in an ordinary light, persons enjoying the usual pleasure of life with its mixtures of both sorrows and joys ... I was an artist-reporter, recording what I saw." Caro, p. 25.