Benny Andrews Oil Painting, ca. 1962

Value (2017) | $7,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
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GUEST:
My son and I go to auctions and estate sales looking for junk. It was a rainy morning, and there were box slats out on the grass of this auction. And, uh. nobody wanted to get their feet wet. We really didn't look in the box, you know, and, you know, the frame looked really nice, so we ended up getting the box for $45. Now, the box was in the garage drying out for a couple of days.

APPRAISER:
Wow.

GUEST:
So my son got around to it, brought the box in. This was wrapped up with another one in very old Saran Wrap. We opened it up, and this was there.

APPRAISER:
This is exciting. It's a really beautiful example. You've seen the signature, you know the artist, Benny Andrews. Benny Andrews is, is really a favorite artist of mine, an African-American artist who did incredible work. He's an expressive figurative artist working in the 1950s until his passing in 2006. He was born in 1930. And what's striking about this painting is its beauty, its interest in nature, the yellow dress, the colors-- it's got a lot going on. It's an early work-- it's very interesting. He's known primarily as a New York artist, but he was born in Georgia...

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
and so a lot of his artwork that people know are images of the South from his childhood. But he, he was... He was a very enterprising, talented young artist. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1950s, and moved to New York in 1958. And he was picked up by a gallery and had his first solo show in New York in 1962. Looks like oil with tempera, and it's got a wonderful pattern. It doesn't have his collage, which he's really known for in the late '60s, but it's got a lot going for it: the size, the early interest in color, the pattern. And probably another image from his childhood. We don't see many Benny Andrews from the early '60s, and most of those are works on paper. So this is a work on board, and it's a painting. This is a beautiful image. Of course, the woman in the yellow dress is, is a zinger-- it really draws your eye in. Few works like this have come to auction, but those that have have done well. Do you have any sense of what it might be worth?

GUEST:
Well, my son's salivating. Online, asked about it, so I go, "I don't know, let's find out."

APPRAISER:
Well, it's an early work, and it's a beauty, and for that, I would put it at auction, conservatively, at $7,000 to $10,000.

GUEST:
You're freakin' kidding me. (chuckles) All right, well, guess it's not going online. All right, cool.

APPRAISER:
It's an amazing find.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Congratulations.

GUEST:
Thank you.

APPRAISER:
And thank you for bringing it in.

GUEST:
I appreciate it.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Swann Auction Galleries
New York, NY
Appraised value (2017)
$7,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
Event
Newport, RI (September 18, 2017)
Period
1960s
Material
Oil , Tempura

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