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BUFORD, Ga. – More than 1,200 lots of self-taught art in a variety of forms – from face jugs to paintings, quilts to pottery – will be offered the weekend of Nov. 13-14 by Slotin Folk Art Auction at the Historic Buford Hall, located at 112 East Shadburn Avenue. The dates have been pushed ahead from the originally scheduled Nov. 6-7 due to last-minute consignments.
Said Amy Slotin of Slotin Folk Art Auction, “So many unbelievable last-minute consignments came in, we had to postpone the event a week to put together this incredible sale.”
The auction comes on the heels of the highly successful 17th annual Folk Fest, also staged by Slotin Folk Art Auction in Buford. More than 12,000 attendees poured into town from all across the country to experience what was billed as “The World’s Greatest Self-Taught Art Show and Sale.” Slotin said the attendance was the second-highest ever for a Folk Fest.
While that event was a show and sale, the Nov. 13-14 auction will be just that – self-taught art sold to the highest bidder. Featured will be outsider art, antique and anonymous folk art, Southern folk pottery, vernacular photography, quilts, canes, African-American decorative arts, circus works, oddities, industrial molds, the strange, the unusual, the vanishing America. Headlining the two-day auction will be the prestigious Howard Campbell Americana collection.
Following is just a handful of what bidders will see cross the block as they settle in for a weekend of self-taught art in a spirited environment of buying and bidding. Online bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.
Imagine owning an original Eli Whitney cotton gin, all hand-carved and assembled wood with all original parts, in near-mint condition. Such a cotton gin will be offered (estimate $25,000-$45,000). This amazing piece of American history was previously on display at a museum in Owensboro, Ky. It features metal cotton cutting blades and metal wire seed separating brushes.
“Cedar Creek” Charlie Fields (1883-1966) – so-named because he hailed from Cedar Creek, Va. – not only created folk art, he lived it. He painted everything he owned – his house, furnishings and clothes – in polka dots. And now, the front door and side panels from his famous house in Cedar Creek (115 inches by 77 inches) will be auctioned (estimate $5,000-$10,000).
Billy Ray Hussey (N.C., b. 1955) grew up in the pottery business. He turned a keen interest and talent for sculpting into highly acclaimed, skillful and imaginative figural works. Offered at auction will be a pair of beautifully sculpted and glazed matching dogs (estimate $2,000-$3,000). The pieces are 9 inches by 6 1/2 inches each, initialed by Hussey and in mint condition.
Of all the folk potters to come out of Georgia over the last 200 years, Lanier Meaders (1917-1998) is perhaps the most revered. Inspired by his mother, the very talented Arie Meaders, Lanier became famous for his spooky face jugs. One such jug, a beautiful tobacco-spit glaze with gorgeous drips and a devil face (9 inches tall, circa 1970s) will be offered (estimate $3,000-$4,000).
Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900-1980) was an evangelist living in New Orleans who painted in order to create visual tools for her teachings. Today, her work is highly collectible. Her paint, pencil and watercolor on artist paper titled New Jerusalem (estimate $10,000-$15,000) will come under the gavel. The work is signed and titled; in the frame, it is 25 inches by 20 inches.
Some exciting “New Discoveries” (artists who are talented but have so far flown under the radar among collectors) will be in the sale. One of these is John Niro (N.Y., 1906-1989), who painted infrequently until his retirement in the 1970s. His 1973 signed oil on canvas, The Sheet Metal Workers (estimate $2,000-$4,000), 28 inches by 22 inches, is a rare find and in mint condition.
An important piece of civil rights history will change hands when Larry Godwin’s signed oil canvas titled Lookaway, Lookaway (1965, estimate $3,000-$5,000), comes up for bid. The painting depicts a nude Mrs. Viola Gregg Liuzzo, a white civil rights activist who was killed, holding newspapers with the headlines “Coleman Acquitted” and “Wilkins Free” (her alleged killers).
M.B. Mayfield (1923-2005) was a black custodian for the art department at the University of Mississippi in the late 1940s, where he listened to art lectures from a broom closet and applied what he learned to his own craft. In 1986, an exhibition of his work was held at Ole Miss. His 1983 paint on Masonite work titled Avon Lady (estimate $1,000-$3,000), signed, will be in the sale.
Slotin Folk Art Auction is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single piece or an entire collection, call Slotin at 770-532-1115 or 404-403-4244, or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Slotin Folk Art Auction and the calendar of upcoming events, visit www.slotinfolkart.com.
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