NEW YORK—A stunning example of Charles White’s aesthetic is on display at the Jonathan Boos booth at the Winter Antiques Show. “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep” features two women who at once appear full of emotion and yet betray nothing of themselves.
A master draftsmen, White (1918-1972) primarily painted murals before transitioning to portraiture in the 1940s. His meticulous depictions of African Americans reference the challenges and triumphs of the fight for civil rights and social justice.
The dealer said “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep” was acquired from Harry Belafonte five years ago. The image is composed of fine details and textures that White drew using charcoal, pen and ink.
Specializing in 20th century paintings, Boos is participating in the antiques show for the first time. In addition to the White portrait, the dealer is also exhibiting a 1956 Jacob Lawrence painting whose title is a quote from Thomas Jefferson to Lewis and Clark and “The Holy Mountain II” by Horace Pippin, among many other works.
Photos by Arts Observer
“18. In all your intercourse with the natives, treat them in the most friendly treat them in the most friendly and conciliatory manner which their own conduct will admit…Jefferson to Lewis and Clark, 1803,” 1956 (egg tempera on hardboard) by Jacob Lawrence. The work is part of what was to be a 60-painting series visually interpreting the history of the United States. Lawrence completed half of the painting which were shown in an exhibit titled, “Struggle…From the History of the American People.”