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2024 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 2)

Sun, Jul 7, 2024 01:00PM EDT
Lot 748

Clementine Hunter Painting, Washday

Estimate: $2,800 - $3,200

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$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Clementine Reuben Hunter (American/Louisiana, 1886/87-1988), "Wash Day," large oil on canvasboard painting depicting three figures doing laundry outdoors under a clothesline. Signed with monogram lower right. Inscribed en verso: "H-22 Ryan" and "LSU Dec. 1971" with possible date or number 1965. Molded wood frame. Sight: 24" H x 30" W. Frame: 27 1/2" H x 33 1/2" W. 

Biography: A self-taught artist, Clementine Hunter created bright, whimsical folk paintings depicting life in and around the Melrose cotton plantation where she lived and worked, near Natchitoches, Louisiana. She did not start painting until her 50s. She used whatever surfaces she could find, and, working from memory, recorded everyday life, from work in the cotton fields to baptisms and funerals. She rendered her figures, usually black, in expressionless profile and disregarded formal perspective and scale. Though she first exhibited in 1949, Hunter did not garner public attention until the 1970s when both the Museum of American Folk Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibited her paintings. Even with such success, Hunter chose to stay in Louisiana, working at Melrose Plantation until 1970 when she moved to a small trailer a few miles away on an unmarked road. Source: The National Museum of Women in the Arts.

PROVENANCE: Private Southern collection. We wish to thank Thomas Whitehead for confirming the authenticity of this painting. 


Scattered tiny spots of mold/mildew across sky and upper right quadrant. Several tiny flakes to tree. 

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Private Southern collection. We wish to thank Thomas Whitehead for confirming the authenticity of this painting.