Jun 04, 2020 - Sale 2535

Sale 2535 - Lot 90

Price Realized: $ 37,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
ROBERT NEAL (1916 - 1987)
Letter From Vietnam.

Oil on masonite board, circa 1972-75. 775x669 mm; 30 1/2x26 1/4 inches. Signed in oil, lower right.

Provenance: the estate of the artist; private collection, Ohio.

This intense scene of a soldier's wife and child receiving terrible news is a scarce contemporary painting of the experiences of African-Americans during the Vietnam War by an African-American artist.

A native of Atlanta, Robert Neal was a student of Hale Woodruff's and became his studio assistant at Spelman College, working on the Talladega College Amistad murals in 1939. At the same time, Neal exhibited his own paintings and was included in the 1939 Baltimore Museum of Art's Contemporary Negro Art, the first museum group exhibition of African-American artists, and the 1940 Exhibition of the Art of the American Negro (1851-1940) at the Tanner Galleries in Chicago, the largest survey of African-American art at the time. Neal is also mentioned in Alain Locke's 1940 The Negro in Art: A Pictorial Record of The Negro Artist and of The Negro Theme In Art, and James A. Porter's 1943 Modern Negro Art. Robert Neal moved to Dayton, Ohio in the 1940s; unfortunately, little is known about his latter life or career. Heydt pp. 80, 132.