Dec 10, 2020 - Sale 2554

Sale 2554 - Lot 91

Price Realized: $ 100,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 35,000 - $ 50,000
ROMARE BEARDEN (1911 - 1988)
The Last of the Blue Devils.

Collage on masonite board, 1979. 451x350mm; 17 3/4x13 3/4 inches.

Provenance: the estate of Bruce Ricker; Bruce Teleky, New York (2011); the estate of Bruce Teleky, New York.

Bruce Ricker (1942-2011) was a documentary filmmaker who in 1979 made the documentary film The Last of the Blue Devils about the jazz scene in Kansas City. Ricker was the producer and director and shot it over five years. The film was made at a two musical gatherings of old Kansas City hands in 1974 at the Mutual Musicians Foundation, the Kansas City African-American Musician's Union, and consists largely of impromptu musical performances by Turner, Basie, Jay McShann, Jimmy Forrest, and Ernie Williams in various combinations, as well as film from a concert by the full Count Basie Orchestra at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Ricker was also a producer of the Clint Eastwoood film Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser.

Romare Bearden had been commissioned to make this collage which served as a poster for the film. Bruce Teleky later obtained the collage from the estate of Bruce Ricker, and with permission of the the estate of Romare Bearden, his publishing company made a reproduction into a very popular poster - the poster is still available for sale via the Romare Bearden Foundation.