William Edmondson Sculpture Fetches Auction Record for Outsider Art

  • William Edmonson.  Boxer, circa 1936

    William Edmonson. Boxer, circa 1936

    Christie's

Christie's inaugural sale of self-taught artists on Friday was led by William Edmondson’s Boxer, which brought $785,000, well above its $150,000-250,000 estimate. The price set a record in the category, according to Christie's, surpassing the previous top price set by Henry Darger’s Sans titre, which sold for $745,076 in 2014.

The sale, titled “Liberation Through Expression: Outsider and Vernacular Art,” brought a total $1.5 million overall for 44 works categorzied as by "self-taught" artists (not formally-trained).

Edmondson (1874-1951), the son of former slaves, came to sculpture at age 57, after working as a janitor and stonemason in Nashville, Tenn. He first carved tombstones, later turning toward freestanding sculptures that were displayed around his yard. Edmondson's powerful figures caught the attention of Alfred H. Barr, Jr., then-director of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1937, Edmondson became the first African American to have a solo exhibition at MoMA.

Likely modeled after Joe Louis, Boxer "is a reflection of American popular culture of the era and shows Edmondson’s pride in his cultural identity," states Christie's catalog.

More News Feed Headlines

400 Viking Artifacts Stolen from Museum in Norway

  • August 21, 2017 14:08

Some 400 objects of Viking origin were stolen from a museum in Norway sometime between Aug. 11 ...

Read More

William Langenheim (American, born Germany, Schöningen 1807-1874) and Frederick Langenheim (American, born Germany, Schöningen 1809-1879), Eclipse of the Sun, 1854, Daguerreotype.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005.

A Peek at Rare 1854 Solar Eclipse Images, and a Full Look at the Friedman Collection of Photography

  • August 17, 2017 14:12

The Metropolitan Museum of Art owns the only surviving images of the solar eclipse that occurred ...

Read More

Sandycombe Lodge, 1814, W.  B.  Cooke after William Havell - Tate Britain.

After $3.5 Million Renovation, JMW Turner's Picturesque Cottage Opens to Visitors

  • August 16, 2017 20:21

In 1813 England’s great landscape painter JMW Turner built a small villa, Sandycombe Lodge, on a ...

Read More

Staff members evaluate the recovered de Kooning.

Stolen De Kooning Painting Returned to Museum After 3 Decades

  • August 15, 2017 12:55

A Willem de Kooning painting that had been stolen more than 31 years ago from the University of ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire