Self-taught art masterpieces to star in Slotin auction April 27-28

Self-taught art

Drossos P. Skyllas, ‘Still Life,’ 24in. x 18in. Provenance: Estelle Friedman Collection. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000. Slotin Auction image

BUFORD, Ga. – Slotin Auction, specializing in self-taught art, is also the premier auction house for bringing major folk and outsider art collections to the block. The April 27-28 edition is sure to pique the interest in any collector looking for exceptional examples by important artists from several premier collections. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

Self-taught art seems to be enjoying new-found prestige in today’s market, but it wasn’t so long ago that the earliest pioneers in this field were beating the bushes to find these self-taught artists, collect their works and share them with the world. Slotin Auction has brought some of the most important early self-taught art collections to the auction block over the past 25 years, including the collections of Chuck and Jan Rosenak, authors of The Encyclopedia of American Folk Art and the Herbert W. Hemphill Collection for the Smithsonian. Now, more of the original collectors and scholars are passing their life’s work and passion onto a new generation of eager collectors. Slotin Auction is bringing the important self-taught art collection of author and philanthropist Estelle Friedman; the antique and anonymous folk art trove from Bonnie Grossman’s fabled Ames Gallery in California; works from the Museum of the American Indian, Cherokee, N.C.; and the private African pottery collection of renowned artist Julius Friedman to auction.

Estelle and Jack Friedman began collecting in the 1940s, discovering local Nashville carvers and artists. Over the years they passed their love of this genre onto their children, Julia Ardery and husband, Michael Hall who have written several definitive books. The Friedmans have donated a large portion of their collection to museums around the world. The pieces coming to Slotin Auction on April 27-28 are the works they kept in their private collection. Of special note is Lot 151, a rare Drossos P. Skyllas, Still Life (above; est. $5,000-$10,000), an important work by Sister Gertrude Morgan, The Angel Stood (lot 170; est. $3,000-$6,000), and a fine Odd Fellows Heart and Hand Staff (lot 130; est. $1,000-$1,500).

This sale also includes items from the Ames Gallery and the personal collection of Bonnie & Sy Grossman. In business for over 50 years, the Ames Gallery was a well-respected art venue in Berkeley, Calif., often visited by international collectors of American folk and outsider art. Bonnie brought artists such as Ursula Barnes into the mainstream at her gallery, including lot 401 a wonderful interpretation of Temptation (below; est. $2,000-$3,000) and an important early work by Jon Serl, The Spirit (lot 184; est. 3,000-5,000), as well as a strong grouping of works by Alex Maldonado, an artist that Bonnie discovered, lots 489-496.

Self-taught art

Ursula Barnes, ‘Temptation in the Garden of Eden,’ oil on canvas. 54in. x 35in. Provenance: The Ames Gallery. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Slotin Auction image

The Museum of The American Indian was a private museum in Cherokee, N.C., which closed in the 1970s. Items from the museum remained with the original owners of the museum in their personal collection and several pieces from this important collection will be featured in the Spring Slotin Auction sale including a gorgeous Native American beaded sky blue dance dress (lot 142, est. $1,000-$3,000) and several double-weave rivercane baskets (lots 141, 143, 144).

Julius Friedman was an internationally known artist and award-winning graphic designer. His own work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art. He was also a collector of early African pottery and his entire personal collection is offered at this sale, lots 1091-1116.

Also included in this Who’s Who of folk art sale is a gorgeous Anna Mary Robertson “‘Grandma” Moses oil on canvas titled, Home Dear Home, with impeccable Galerie St. Etienne provenance (below; est. $30,000-$40,000).

Self-taught art

Anna Mary Robertson ‘Grandma’ Moses, ‘Home Dear Home,’ 1945, signed, dated and titled, oil on canvas board,’ 20in. x 16in. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Slotin Auction image

Also expected to do well in the two-day auction are important work by Gullah artist Sam Doyle titled Larie Rivers, which is illustrated in Raw Vision (below; est. $15,000-$20,000) and a stunning Edgar Tolson carving of The Expulsion, circa 1970s (lot 155; est. $10,000-$15,000).

Self-taught art

Sam Doyle, ‘Larie Rivers,’ signed, house paint on found roofing tin, 25in. x 37in. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. Slotin Auction image

Additional highlights are a  bold Portrait Surrounded by Vivid Flora by Minnie Evans (est. $5,000-$8,000), rare examples of Art Brut by artist John Bellany, (below; est. $5,000-$10,000, and James Castle, Coat, (lot 166, est. $6,000-$9,000), a fabulous Howard Finster Self-Portrait, #2076 (lot 211; est. $3,000-$5,000), as well as Southern folk pottery, carnival and circus items, Odd Fellows objects, erotica, canes, bottle whimseys, African American quilts and new discoveries.

Self-taught art

John Bellany, ‘Vesperland,’ circa 1980, oil on canvas. 66in. x 73in. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000. Slotin Auction image

For details contact Steve or Amy Slotin at 770-532-1115 or 404-403-4244 or