Swann Auctions is the route through which a number of Charles White’s works are brought to the marketplace. The catalogues that accompany these auctions are always a treasure trove of high quality reproductions of work by African American artists, together with descriptions of varying lengths, biographical information, and guide prices. The Swann African-American Fine Art catalogue of February 17, 2009 offered for auction several works by Charles White, including the iconic Move On Up a Little Higher, 1961, Charcoal and Wolff crayon on illustration board, 1004 x 1205 mm; signed and dated in charcoal, lower right. Accompanying text as follows:
Move On Up a Little Higher is a most impressive example of the artist's mid-career work, a masterful large-scale drawing that conveys all the emotional and figurative realism one associates with White. ...The title refers to the gospel song of Mahalia Jackson whose 1948 recording made her famous."
Befitting such a monumental work, it was rendered as a gatefold. Additionally, the last of the four pages devoted to the work in the Swann catalogue featured a detail, of the face of the woman who was the subject of the drawing, her arms held aloft in a celestial vision.
Also offered for sale in this auction catalogue were the Charles White works, Untitled (Head of a Man), etching, circa 1940; Mayor Tom Bradley, lithograph, 1974; Frederick Douglass, etching, 1973; Profile, etching, 1974; and Study for Lead Belly, graphite and charcoal on vellum paper, circa 1978.