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Estimate: $ 500 - $ 750
MARY PARKS WASHINGTON (1924 - 2019 ) Black Soul.
Tempera on found wood, 1971. Approximately 1473x24 mm; 58x10 inches.
Provenance: the Johnson Publishing Company, Inc., Chicago.
This large and bold portrait on distressed found-wood is the first work of Mary Parks Washington to come to auction. Washington was a Californian mixed media visual artist, arts advocate, and art educator. Born in Atlanta, she first studied visual art at Spelman College under artists Hale Woodruff and Elizabeth Prophet. She also studied drawing with Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League in New York. Upon her graduation in 1946, Washington received a Rosenwald Fund fellowship to attend Black Mountain College in North Carolina where she studied design and color with Josef Albers, painting with Jean Varda, and photography with Beaumont Newhall. In the fall of 1946, Washington returned to Atlanta to teach in its public schools, and married Samuel Washington, a former Tuskegee Airman and a psychiatric social worker. In 1958, the Washingtons settled in Campbell, CA where she taught in the San Jose Unified School District for over 30 years. In 1978, Washington earned a Master of Arts in Art from San Jose State University. Washington exhibited her work extensively, including at the Asheville Art Museum, Atlanta University, Oakland Museum, Spelman College, Triton Museum of Art, San Jose Art Center and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. She was included in Samella Lewis and Ruth Waddy's 1969 survey Black Artists on Art, Volume 1. A large collection of her paintings is in the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta. Biographical notes courtesy of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System where Washington's papers are archived. Lewis/Waddy pp 64, 132.