Feb 17, 2011 - Sale 2237

Sale 2237 - Lot 23

Price Realized: $ 7,200
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
Untitled (Seated Figure).

Carved stone, 1940. Approximately 203x267x177 mm; 8x10 1/2x7 inches. Signed and dated on verso.

Provenance: private collection.

This figure is a very scarce example of Robert Taylor Crump's sculpture, made the same year as his WPA mounument to Leonidas Merritt, discoverer of the iron range of the Mesabi Hills in Minnesota. Born in York, ND and educated in Iowa and Minnesota, Crump moved to Chicago and studied at the Southside Community Art Center while it was under the auspices of the Federal Art Project. An article on the North Dakota artist was written in Opportunity, Journal of Negro Life in October of 1941. James A. Porter devotes a page of description to Crump in his Modern Negro Art. Porter mentions in a footnote that "an excellent example of his work in stone" was included in the important Baltimore Museum exhibition Contemporary Negro Art Show in February of 1939. Porter champions Crump, after Richmond Barthé, as "the second Negro artist to receive a commission to make a public monument commemorating the services or deeds of a white man," with his 1940 mounument to Merritt. Though from the same year as his formal statue, this sculpture shows the artist's more expressive side and the influence of European modernism and the Mexican Muralists upon many Chicago artists at the time. Porter pp. 131 and 173.