Found an Arkansas angle in today’s New York Times in an article about the movement of major art museums to add black artists to their collections. That has had an impact on private collectors, hoping to acquire major artists before they are priced out of reach, though there are complaints that black artists still lag behind other.
Those collectors include former Razorback basketball star Darrell Walker, quoted in the article.
But prices for critically successful artists who came of age earlier, even as recently as the 1960s and ’70s, still lag behind what many dealers think they should be. Mr. [Sam] Gilliam, who represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1972 and whose draped canvases have had a strong influence on younger painters trying to rethink the medium, has only recently broken $300,000 at auction, though works by Mr. Gilliam on view recently at the Frieze Masters art fair in London were priced at up to $500,000.
“I’m sorry, but I really believe that if he were a white artist, you wouldn’t be able to afford him now; you wouldn’t be able to touch him unless you had several million,” said Darrell Walker, the former professional basketball player and coach, who has collected works by Mr. Gilliam, Norman Lewis and other black artists for more than 30 years.