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    Sale 2303 | Lot 8
    Price Realized: $24,000With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
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    • Sale 2303 Lot 8

      ALBERT ALEXANDER SMITH (1896 - 1940)
      Spinning a Yarn.

      Oil on linen canvas, 1930. 500x650 mm; 19 3/4x25 1/2 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto. Signed and titled in ink on upper stretcher bar, verso.

      Provenance: the estate of the artist, France; Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 195 (as Scène de Vendanges), November 7, 1991; Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York (2000); John Axelrod, Boston (2001); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011).

      Exhibited: African-American Art, 20th Century Masterworks, VII, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, January 13 - March 4, 2000.

      Illustrated: African-American Art, 20th Century Masterworks, VII, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, p. 50.

      Only the second oil painting by this expatriate artist to come to auction in the U.S., Spinning a Yarn typifies Albert Alexander Smith's work. This is one of his more colorful depictions of popular music and dance--an American genre scene for audiences both in France where he was living at the time, and for collectors back in the U.S. The year before, in 1929, Smith won the Harmon Foundation's bronze medal for both his paintings and prints. As Theresa Leininger-Miller points out, the depictions reflect his experiences in Paris as a professional banjo player, and imagined settings from a rural American South that he knew little about. Smith's figures often reflected stereotypes of African Americans, but he painted in a sophisticated, learned style, "warm shades of brown and gold--in the manner of Rembrandt and Velàzquez, artists whom Smith admired," and whose work he had studied in his travels throughout France, Italy and Spain. Leininger-Miller p. 229.

      Estimate $8,000 - 12,000


      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $24,000