• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1959

    Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Prints And Decoys

    17 - 18 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 776

    Bill Traylor (1856-1949)


    Price Realised  

    Bill Traylor (1856-1949)
    Untitled (Chase with Brown Tape)
    graphite and colored pencil on cardboard, marked on verso SH-62
    15 x 10 inches

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    SH-62 is the inventory number used by Charles Shannon, who discovered Bill Traylor and was the artist's primary patron.

    Born into slavery about 1852, Bill Traylor did not begin drawing until he was in his eighties while living essentially as a homeless man on the streets of Montgomery, Alabama. His drawings and paintings on cardboard were all executed during the brief period between 1939 and 1942. Like many of his contemporaries working during the Great Depression-Reginald Marsh, Ben Shahn and others--Traylor's imagery was taken from his immediate surroundings, and influenced by the artist's fertile imagination, flawless line and innate compositional sense. He created powerfully reductive forms that are infused with his trademark whimsical humor.