Close to 50 pieces of art from the estate of iconic poet and author Maya Angelou were collected and auctioned at the Swann Auction Gallery in New York City. Several unique pieces sold included a painted story quilt that was commissioned by Oprah Winfrey for Angelou’s 61st birthday titled “Maya’s Quilt of Life.”
Some of the late writer’s collectibles, such as “Wading in the Surf” by Jonathan Green, exceeded expectations, earning higher than estimated amounts. The painting’s pre-sale estimate was $8,000 to $12,000 yet sold for $13,750. A watercolor painting titled ”The Obeah’s Choice” by Romare Bearden sold for $87, 500 though its estimated number ranged at a low $20,000 to $30,000. “Maya’s Quilt of Life” sold for $461,000.
It would not be an exaggeration to assume the value of Angelou’s collection went for exponentially higher amounts of money because of her legacy. Her taste, elegance and the fact that the pieces hung in her personal residences easily added pride and prestige to the works, which were all added to Swann Auction Gallery’s African-American Fine Art auction.
“For my mother, paintings, sculpture, dance and music were ways of translating the intangible into digestible bites; these forms of art were ways of expressing feelings and emotions that resisted the confinement of words. She appreciated a well-turned lyrical phrase as much as the lines and contours of a well-sculpted figure or the transcending brush strokes that accent an image or the ones that balance the composition of colors in a painting. If she saw a beautiful dance piece or heard a phenomenal musical riff or melody, she would talk about it admiringly for days afterward. Imagination and creativity were the central pillars of her work life,” read Maya Angelou’s son Guy Johnson’s introduction to the collection
You can have a look at the full catalog of the collection at www.swanngalleries.com/index.php/2390-dr-maya-angelou-collection.