Dec 15, 2015 - Sale 2402

Sale 2402 - Lot 45

Price Realized: $ 11,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 12,000 - $ 18,000
JOHN BIGGERS (1924 - 2001)
Ghanian Women.

Conte crayon, charcoal and pastel on buff illustration board, circa 1957-58. 737x991 mm; 29x39 inches. Signed in crayon, lower right.

Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; private collection, Houston; thence by descent to a private collection, Philadelphia.

lllustrated: John Biggers. Ananse: The Web of Life in Africa,, p. 103. With the description, "Ghanian women proudly attired in new garments, watch a parade at Odumasi."

This large, majestic drawing is an exceptional example of the scenes John Biggers recorded during his important Ghanian trip in the late 1950s. In 1957, John Biggers was one of the first African-American artists to visit Africa, sponsored by a UNESCO fellowship to study and record traditional African culture. In addition to Ghana, Biggers and his wife Hazel visited Togo, the Republic of Benin and Nigeria over a six month period. Ghana had only just achieved its independence from Britain in March of that year. Biggers' drawing is also one of his many representations of the importance of the African woman in her society. Biggers had said that "Africa has a female sensibility," and "the woman was so powerful in African culture." This opportunity, which he described as 'the most significant in my life's experiences,' led to the publication of Ananse in 1962, which included this and 81 other drawings and text based on his journeys in Ghana and the rest of Africa.