Maya Angelou's Private Art Collection to Be Auctioned

The famed poet's African-American artwork to make debut at Swann Galleries in NYC.

World renowned poet, activist and keeper of culture Maya Angelou’s esteemed private collection of African-American art will soon be up for sale. The collection, which has never been shown publicly, will be heading to Swann Auction Galleries in New York on Sept. 15.

The outstanding collection contains nearly 50 pieces of artwork including works by Elizabeth Catlett, Melvin Edwards and Jonathan Green. The pieces have been cosigned to the auction house’s African-American Fine Arts department by the late writer’s estate.

Completely supportive of this venture, Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson, said he’s “happy to have the art that she loved bring joy and inspiration to the lives of others.”

“We’re the only auction house that focuses on this area so intensely," Alexandra Nelson, director of communications for the Swann Galleries. "Because we have regular auctions, and because Dr. Angelou’s collection was of African-American fine art, it was the right fit.”

The collection features a piece entitled "Maya’s Quilt of Life," and was specially made for Oprah Winfrey to present to Angelou for her 60th birthday. Incredibly special to her, the piece hung in her home in Harlem. That piece alone has an estimated pre-sale price of $150,000-$250,000.

If you’re interested in purchasing a piece of the legendary poet, the auction preview will open to the public on Sept. 8.
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(Photo: Ken Charnock/Getty Images)

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