Lot 6: Rare WPA-style 1963 Chicago Black Art Calendar
15th December 2016
Author: Margaret T. Burroughs and Charles G. Burroughs, compilers; Title: Rare Civil Rights-era Chicago Black Art Calendar in the WPA woodcut style; Place Published: Chicago ; Publisher: Ebony Museum of Negro History; Date Published: 1963; Description: ."1863-1963 / Year of Jubilee! / Negro Museum / Make Negro History Live!" 8.5 x 11". 28pp. + printed covers. Illustrated with 12 woodcuts of historical figures like Frederick Douglass, by artists Bernard Goss, Margaret Burroughs, Joyce Gourfein et al, some unsigned, in the 1930s WPA Chicago woodcut style.Rare. WorldCat locates only one institutional copy, at the Lincoln Presidential Library; this may be the only other surviving copy of an important Black art work of the Civil Rights era. This calendar would be followed by dozens of "Black History calendars", many issued by large corporations as marketing gimmicks. Unlike those slick productions, this publication has the look of a homemade 1930s WPA Project - and for good reason. During the Depression, artist Bernard Goss worked in the Illinois WPA Art Project. In 1939, he married fellow artist Margaret Taylor, who had gone to high school with her friend Gwendolyn Brooks, the future Pulitzer Prize winning poet. After Goss contributed work to the landmark American National Negro Exposition in Chicago, he and his activist wife founded the WPA-supported South Side Community Art Center (dedicated by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt) to inspire young Black Chicago artists. Their wartime home became a salon for left-wing writers like Richard Wright and artist Charles White (see his inscribed book listed below). After the War, they were divorced and Margaret married Charles Burroughs, with whom she later co-founded the Ebony Museum of Negro History (now the DuSable Museum of African American History) and compiled this calendar, using some work of her own and her first husband's, whose own early work was unheralded.
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