Feb 13, 2014 - Sale 2338

Sale 2338 - Lot 40

Price Realized: $ 27,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 12,000 - $ 18,000
HALE WOODRUFF (1900 - 1980)
Portrait of a Girl.

Oil on masonite board, circa 1935-40. 273x216 mm; 10 3/4x8 1/2 inches. Signed in oil, lower right.

Provenance: Harold Hart, New York; the estate of Harold Hart; thence by descent to C. Arnold Hart; the estate of C. Arnold Hart.

This early study is one of only a handful of paintings by Woodruff that have come to auction with an African-American subject. The limited, dark palette and simplified forms link this work to the period shortly after his return from France. Woodruff did a number of paintings of children, including his celebrated Negro Boy, 1938, in the collection of Robert L. Johnson from the Barnett-Aden Collection. Additionally, another very similar painting of a child by Woodruff, Black Boy, from the estate of Loïs Mailou Jones, was sold in Swann's February 16, 2012 auction of African-American Fine Art.