Feb 14, 2013 - Sale 2303

Sale 2303 - Lot 4

Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
MAY HOWARD JACKSON (1877 - 1931)
Shell-Baby (Baby in a Clam Shell).

Cast bronze, with a dark brown patina, 1914. Approximately 83x127x89 mm; 3 1/4x5x3 1/2 inches. Signed, dated and inscribed with the foundry mark "Desygn ©" on the back.

Provenance: private collection.

This early, small bronze is the first work by this early 20th century sculptor to come to auction. Born the same year as Meta Warrick Fuller, according to Lisa E. Farrington, both came from privileged families that embraced the fine arts and studied at the Pennsylvania Museum School and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. May Howard Jackson won a scholarship to attend in 1895, the year before Fuller--becoming the first African-American woman to attend. She married in 1902, and moved to Washington, DC, establishing a studio there and exhibiting at the Corcoran Gallery and the Veerhoff Galleries by 1916. She was rejected by the Washington Society of Fine Arts and the National Academy of Design before joining the faculty at Howard University, where she taught James A. Porter. She showed her works at the Harmon Foundation and the Barnett-Aden Gallery in the 1920s and '30s. Her work today is found in the Barnett-Aden Collection and at Howard University. Farrington pp. 72-74; St. James p. 266.