Oct 07, 2021 - Sale 2581

Sale 2581 - Lot 30

Price Realized: $ 52,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
HUGHIE LEE-SMITH (1915 - 1999)
Untitled (Portrait of a Young Girl).

Oil on masonite, 1949. 290x230 mm; 16x12 inches. Incised signature and date in oil, upper left.

Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; private collection, Detroit, MI; thence by descent, private collection, California..

This charming portrait is a scarce example of Hughie Lee-Smith's painting from his early years in Detroit from the late 1940s. In 1938, Lee-Smith graduated from the Cleveland School of Art with honors, where he studied under Clarence Carter, and won a scholarship to continue studying for a fifth year. He also attended Karamu House in Cleveland, joining Charles Sallée, Elmer Brown, and William E. Smith. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he used funds from the G.I. Bill to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1953. Lee-Smith also worked in Detroit automobile factories in 1945 and 1947 between teaching stints. In 1949, he exhibited paintings both at the Detroit Arts Market and the Karamu House Art Gallery, Cleveland.