Philadelphia's African-American Artists


Harlem, Chicago, Detroit--various urban enclaves seem to boast a disproportionate number of famous artists and writers. Philadelphia is certainly no exception, with African-American artists from the early 20th century through today calling Philly home. The Philadelphia Inquirer picked up on the trend, with David Iams featuring Swann's Feb. 23 sale in today's paper, mentioning upcoming works by Barkley L. Hendricks, Charles Searles, Laura Wheeler Waring, Allan Freelon, Dox Thrash, Claude Clark and Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller.


Charles Searles, Indoctrination, acrylic on canvas, 1971 Estimate: $30,000 to 50,000.




Barkley L. Hendricks, Jackie Sha-La-La (Jackie Cameron), oil and acrylic on canvas, 1975. Estimate: $40,000 to 60,000.

While Barkley L. Hendricks and Charles Searles are each known for their bright and graphic paintings from the 1970s, the other Philadelphia artists honed their craft much earlier. Dox Thrash and Allan Freelon worked together in the late 1930s and 40s at Philadelphia's Pyramid Club. Clark was also a colleague of Thrash's, as they worked together in the Philadelphia Fine Print Workshop of the WPA from 1939-42. Waring's studio was not far away in Cheney, PA.

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