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Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,000
CHARLES WHITE (1918 - 1979) Pensive Child.
Silver print, 1938-40. 203x229 mm; 8x9 inches. With the estate ink signature stamp on the mat, lower right.
Provenance: the estate of the artist; Heritage Gallery, Los Angeles; private collection, California. The gallery label indicates that this is a "unique photograph".
We believe this intimate portrait is the first photograph by the artist to come to auction. The growing popularity of photography in the 1940s dovetailed with White's interest in social realism and recording everyday images. White was also friends with photographers Gordon Parks, both were founding members of the South Community Art Center in Chicago, and Roy DeCarava in New York in the 1940s.
The recent traveling exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective was one of the first exhibitions to include original photographs by White. It included 18 photographs from the 1950s including many portraits of fellow artists, candid family and street scenes and documentary images that inspired his work. The printed catalogue also features an essay on White's work in photography by art historian Deborah Willis.