Feb 16, 2012 - Sale 2268

Sale 2268 - Lot 82

Price Realized: $ 3,600
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 5,000
CLOYD LEE BOYKIN (1877 - 1957)
Untitled (Woman with a Red Hat).

Oil on canvas, mounted to masonite, circa 1927. 508x406 mm; 20x16 inches.

Provenance: the artist's estate, Albany; The Museum Shop, Albany, with a signed letter of authenticity from the shop owner, dated April 20, 1980; private New York collection. The artist lived in Albany in the latter decades of his life.

This striking portrait is only the third known painting by Cloyd Boykin to come to auction. The artist, famously depicted in Palmer Hayden's painting The Janitor Paints a Picture, was indeed a janitor late in his life. Boykin had, however, achieved considerable success as an artist in the 1910s and 1920s.

Born in Virginia in 1877, Boykin moved to Boston in the early 1900s, where he studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 1912 to 1913. He became known in Boston's art circles for his portraits of prominent African Americans and abolitionists. In the late 1920s, Boykin also opened the first art school for African Americans in New York City and went on to exhibit at the Harmon Foundation in New York in 1931, 1933 and 1935.