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Outsider Artists Lead Hindman's Auction of Susan Craig Collection
Works by Roger Brown, Sister Gertrude Morgan, and William Dawson led Hindman’s single-owner auction of collector Susann Craig’s estate on March 9. A beloved figure in Chicago’s art world and a founder of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago, Craig left a strong legacy through her collection and passion for amplifying overlooked voices. The majority of works exceeded their estimates, with Chicago artists in particular seeing high-demand across the 325-lot sale.
Overall, the auction realized more than $551,000, well above the total estimate. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Intuit. “It was an absolute privilege to honor a woman who was so admired in Chicago,” commented Zack Wirsum, Director & Senior Specialist of Post-War & Contemporary Art. “Susann lived an incredibly rich life, and the success of the auction reflects her role as both a collector and a connector.”
Brown’s Crossing the Bandiagara Escarpment With Baobab Trees and Dogon Dancers, a very personal painting for Susann Craig, was the top lot of the auction, fetching $138,600 against a $60,000-80,000 estimate. 1989 was a pivotal year in the Chicago Imagist’s career, featuring his artistic responses to a range of subjects and issues.
The work was inspired by Brown’s 1988 trip to Senegal and Mali with Craig and a group of collectors. Lisa Stone, curator at the Roger Brown Study Collection, notes how it is evident from Brown’s notes that this trip was one of the ones he enjoyed the most, as it includes no complaints unlike those from other journeys. This painting depicts the massive Baobab trees they saw in Senegal and the Dogon people dancing in their full ritual regalia in Mali. When Craig came upon the painting at her friend Phyllis Kind’s Gallery, she acquired it and it became a focal point in her Logan Square loft.
A group of five works by Sister Gertrude Morgan, a self-taught African American artist, also attracted enthusiastic bidding. Craig was a passionate supporter of Morgan and her biblically inspired works. Highlighting the offering was her mixed media work Untitled (Guitar Nun) which soared past the $3,000-5,000 estimate to realize $34,650. Morgan’s Lazarus Come Forth was another highly anticipated lot, which ultimately realized $30,240 compared to the estimate of $5,000-7,000. For more information, call (312) 447 3271.