Outsider Folk Art Gallery proudly presents the "Purvis of Overtown" collection, assembled for the making of the "Purvis of Overtown" documentary film by its Director. This vast grouping spans thirty years of Purvis Young's career, allowing us to offer a unique variety of works unavailable through any other single location.
We hope you will enjoy browsing through this retrospective. Young's painterly style, palette, and materials evolve over time, while much imagery stays constant to form an iconic language, and hopeful, passionate artistic statements remain the core of the work throughout his oeuvre. We welcome all questions and inquires for sales, as well as educational interests.
As recalled by George Viener:
"Six years ago, on a dreary Friday afternoon in December, I got a call from my friend Tim Grumbacher telling me we had to fly into Denver the next morning to view the Purvis Young works David Raccuglia purchased to film the documentary "Purvis of Overtown".
The body of work, collected over six years, consisted of over 1100 works of art dating from the early 1970's to 2004. This is the only total retrospective of the artist, Purvis Young.
Tim was willing to pay the price for the collection if I could confirm to him that the price was fair. I had only seen the early Good Bread Alley pieces in books to that point. It is not an over statement to say, my knees were weakened by this experience.
Our intention has been to explore opportunities to exhibit the works, to educate the public about this great African American, place major works in important venues and market the art.
Works from the collection have been exhibited at Cheney University, the first Black College in the U.S., and The Goggle Works Center for the Arts in Reading Pa.
In 2011, a world record auction price for Purvis Young's work was established at Slotin's Auction House in Buford, Ga.
Major works from the collection will be going at auction May 27th at Material Culture in Germantown, Pa. Purvis Young's iconic 7' tall "Leader of the Peoples", dated "91, will be the star of the sale. Included are two rare angel pieces from the Good Bread Alley period. These come from the Richard Levine collection and were exhibited at the American Folk Art Museum in the 1980's.
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