1962 & 1963 Charles White Print Portfolios
Charles White became part of my household once I came into possession of this work through my sister-in-law Maria. She gave these to me about a year ago. She thought maybe I should just frame these and, and share them with my family members. And I said, "No, I think we should see, you know, get more information about Charles White."
Well, you brought in two wonderful sets of prints by Charles White. Charles White is really a fantastic American artist, an African-American artist. And, and these are very good examples of his work. Charles White is a pre-eminent modern American artist, and he was born in 1918 in Chicago. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a teenager.
And he rose to prominence, was a part of the WPA program. He did mural paintings. And then he became really known as a graphic artist. His work is in many museum collections. And he was celebrated during his lifetime, but just recently, he's risen to much greater prominence, well deserved. Presently, there's a retrospective of his work that's traveling. It was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in Chicago, at the Art Institute of Chicago. And it's now in Los Angeles. He was a political artist, and he wanted to say more about the African-American experience, the struggles that they were going through, especially in the 1960s, when these were done. These are reproduction prints. They're offset lithographs of his drawings. And they were printed in the early 1960s with his gallery, Heritage Gallery, and A.C.A. Gallery in New York. And he really wanted to make his work more available. So these portfolios were printed to promote his, his work. They reproduced his drawings. And you have two sets here. We have a set of six and a set of ten. Each image is a drawing he did from the time, from, like, the late 1950s and early '60s. This is what his work was all about. So we actually don't know how many of these are printed in each edition. The numbers were quite large. I imagine hundreds were printed. The original drawings would be very large. They were, like, four feet high, five feet wide.
Artist reproductions usually don't rise to the value that they would be something you would see at an auction house or a gallery, but these were critical to Charles White's work. He wanted them to be represented. He wanted more people to obtain them. And because of his significance, because of his importance now, these are highly collectible. And they are also pristine examples and the complete sets. And that's really the difference. They haven't been framed. They're almost as if you obtained them the day they were issued in the '60s. At auction today, the set of six I would estimate at $1,000 to $1,500, and the set of ten would reach $2,000 to $3,000 at auction.
That's good to know.
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