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. 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. Given that no fewer than 7 highly significant works by White were up for auction in the same session, Swann produced this insert, dedicated to a preliminary look at the 7 White pieces.
Text on the cover of the insert as follows
"ARTIST AT-A-GLACE: CHARLES WHITE
On February 17, Swann Galleries' auction of African American Fine art will contain an exceptional group of works by Charles White. His 7 scarce lots in this auction span the breadth of the artist's career - from one of his earliest known etchings, Untitled (Head of a Man), printed during the Chicago WPA, to his last signed edition, the etching Profile. The catalogue cover features the top lot, Move On Up a Little Higher, an important and powerful mid-career drawing. Also included is an early and poignant painting, the tempera Hope Imprisoned - previously unrecorded, this is White's first significant painting to come to auction. Each work in the auction is a testament to the continued excellence of Charles White in figurative art."
Details of the other six works by White in the auction, are detailed on the inside of the brochure.