Jan 30, 2020 - Sale 2528

Sale 2528 - Lot 3

Price Realized: $ 50,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 50,000 - $ 75,000
RICHMOND BARTHÉ (1901 - 1989)
The Negro Looks Ahead.

Cast bronze with a dark brown patina, mounted on a wooden pedestal, 1944. Approximately 406x254x241 mm; 16x10x9 1/2inches. Cast circa 1976-79 by the Art Foundry, New York.

Provenance: the Johnson Publishing Company, Inc., Chicago.

Exhibited: They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1910-1950, the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, March 3 -June 3, 2013.

Illustrated: Sarah Kelly Oehler, They Seek a City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1910-1950, fig. 94, p. 93.

The Negro Looks Ahead is a contemplative but powerful head by Richmond Barthé, emerging from a rough-hewn rock. Sarah Kelly Oehler writes that this idealized bust by the Chicago sculptor was made in honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and was shown in a tribute exhibition of support for his fourth presidential term campaign - Barthé recalled "I believed that the Negro advanced more under him than any other President since Lincoln, so I did this piece of the Negro emerging out of his rough background with hope in his future."

Barthé's sculpture became an iconic image. He gained more recognition when its image was used on the dust jacket of Cedric Dover's popular 1960 book American Negro Art, one of the first illustrated surveys of African-American art. We believe this bronze is the first cast of The Negro Looks Ahead to come to auction. Other casts are in the collection of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT. Kelly Oehler p. 93; Vendryes f. 5.26; p. 169.