BOSTON, MA Skinner is pleased to present the Avis and Eugene Robinson collection of African Americana, entitled “Please Remember,” in a two-part auction this February. Mindfully chosen over many years, the Robinson collection is a rich mosaic portraying the complex, often painful, and sometimes triumphant history of a people. Skinner is proud to have been selected by these dedicated collectors to present their extensive archive at auction.
Eugene Robinson, distinguished journalist and commentator as well as discerning collector, will speak at Skinner’s Boston location, 63 Park Plaza, on Wednesday, February 7 at 5:30PM. The live auction will take place at Skinner Boston on February 9 at 4PM. These events are bracketed by the online portion of the sale from February 1 through 12.
Because of the unique historic importance, depth, and diversity of the Robinson material, there will be extended previews. Preview times are:
February 5, 12PM – 5PM, February 6, 12PM – 5PM, February 7, 12PM – 5PM, February 8, 12PM – 7PM, and February 9, 10AM – 3:30PM.
Some items in this collection of hundreds of artifacts are grim: small shackles to restrain enslaved children; a framed broadside offering a $100 reward for a runaway slave. Some recall great milestones in American history: photographs of resolute marchers of the Civil Rights era; Antar Daytal’s campaign poster of Barack Obama in 2008 with the motto, “Yes we can.” Some provide glimpses of private lives: an intimate tintype portrait of a thoughtful, elegantly dressed young African-American woman; proudly framed discharge papers of an African American Civil War veteran.
There are also many reminders of African American contributions to every aspect of our culture, from an oil painting by Annie Tolliver, to a signed Louis Armstrong photograph and concert program, to a publicity photograph of a Negro League baseball team.
The Robinson Collection is a monument to the totality of African American life in this country, offering a nuanced view with elements of tragedy and triumph, hope, and despair that all American should understand and embrace.
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