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Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
JOHN BIGGERS (1924 - 2001) Priests Before a Shrine.
Sanguine and black conte crayon on thin cream wove paper, circa 1957-58. 737x991 mm; 29x39 inches. Signed in sanguine conte crayon, lower left.
Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; private collection, Texas.
lllustrated: John Biggers. Ananse: The Web of Life in Africa, p. 106. With the printed caption, "Three priests in Ilobu, Nigeria, greet us with drumming and dancing. Their pyramidal hair style copies the shape of crowns fashioned in Yoruba sculpture."
This large, beautiful drawing is an exceptional example of the scenes John Biggers recorded during his important African 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. John Biggers and his wife Hazel visited Ghana, Togo, the Republic of Benin and Nigeria over a six month period. 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 Africa.