Maya Angelou's Quilt of Life beats estimate by 84%

Faith Ringgold's Quilt of Life led the auction of civil rights activist and author Maya Angelou's art collection at Swann Auction Galleries in New York.

It sold for $461,000 on September 15, beating a pre-sale estimate of $250,000 by 84.3%.

Maya Angelou PBA
Oprah Winfrey commissioned the work for Maya Angelou's birthday

The work was commissioned from Ringgold by talk show host Oprah Winfrey for Angelou's birthday in 1989 and includes excerpts from her books, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and Gather Together in the Name.

Swann said: "Prominently hung in Dr. Angelou's Harlem home, Maya's Quilt of Life made a lasting impression on the many family members, friends and guests who came to visit - though this is the first time it has been publicly exhibited.

"This is also the first time one of Faith Ringgold story quilts has come to auction."

John Biggers' Kumasi Market (1962) achieved similar success, realising $389,000 against a $150,000 estimate (up 159.3%).

The work depicts a marketplace in Ghana, which Biggers visited during the 1950s.

In total, Angelou's collection went for $1.3m.

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