A to VanDerZee

David Hammons, Untitled (Fly Swatter), wire mesh stapled on a wooden pole, 1992. Sold on February 23, 2010 for $66,000.  

Writers from Maine Antique Digest were in attendance at Swann's African-American Fine Art auction on February 23rd. From the audience, they witnessed first-hand the spectacle between competing bidders on the telephone and in the audience. While once upon a time, one had to physically be present to bid at auction, today, a majority of Swann's bidders buy items over the telephone or online. Yet the article "African-American Art from A to VanDerZee" notes that:


"This sale is one of the few that still have a social component, with plenty of people in the audience, some of them even willing to buy in person. 'We always have a great room,' said [Nigel] Freeman. 'We always have a lot of people there to see what happens. It was nice to see the top lot [Malvin Gray Johnson's Swing Low, Sweet Chariot] go to a room bidder, because we obviously have a lot of heavy phone bidding. So that and the bidding frenzy on the David Hammons'—which also went in the room—made it an exciting event.'"

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