A page from the papers of Marcus Claudius Marcellus Hammond recording his slaves.
I just returned from a quick visit to Swann Galleries Printed and Manuscript African Americana exhibition. Though I don't plan on bidding on anything at tomorrow's auction (though I would love to if I could), I wanted to catch a glimpse of the historical documents and artwork. I was first introduced to the gallery last year and was excited about a return trip.
The exhibition includes slave sale records, family bibles, vintage photography, as well as the items related to Madame C.J. Walker and Gordon Parks. The artwork of Romare Bearden, Al Hircshfeld, Jacob Lawrence and a number of Civil Rights and WWII-era posters are also included. My favorite of the well preserved WWII-era posters has an image of Abraham Lincoln and reads "This World Cannot Exist Half Slave and Half Free. Buy War Bonds."
Swann's Wyatt Houston Day told me that some of the descendants of the slaves mentioned in the family bible and papers of Marcus Claudius Marcellus Hammond are among those interested in bidding on the items. The collections estimate is $7,000 to $10,000. He went on to tell me that a majority of those bidding are predominately from institutions rather than private collectors.
The items up for auction can be seen on Swann Galleries website. The viewing continues until 6pm tonight and from 10am-noon tomorrow. The auction will begin that afternoon at 1:30pm.