Howard Finster cover

The Tradition Continues at the Slotin Folk Art Auction

The Slotin Folk Art Auction, a semi-annual brick and click art auction hosted at the historic Buford Hall in the Atlanta suburbs, took place this past weekend, April 30-May 1. During the auction an estimated 70 lots moved per hour with a total of 1148 lots in the auction. The fair has been a linchpin of the outsider, folk, and self-taught art community for the past 23 years.

This is the first event since the Slotin family announced that the annual Folk Fest held in August in Norcross, a neighboring suburb, will not take place this year. Despite this change, the auction proceeded as expected.

The previous auction took place in November with a similar amount of lots to this year’s auction. The top lot at the auction was Bill Traylor’s Chicken Stealing, which went for $96,000 while the average price per piece was $1,161.11. The type of art in the auction runs the gambit in composition and price. The auction’s gross sales on the 1,100 lot items was $1,278,384 including the buyer’s premium.

This year’s auction comes after Christie’s set a record for highest hammer price for an outsider art piece in their January Liberation through Expression auction. The record setting piece Boxer by William Edmondson sold for $785,000 indicating the growing interest in the outsider art world. Early projections show that this year’s auction will perform similarly to those in the past.

Charles A. A. Dellschau, “Aero Rondo & Flanck Rondo,” double sided, Watercolor, Paint, Pencil, String on Paper with Newspaper Edge, 17” x 17”, 1919.

Charles A. A. Dellschau, “Aero Rondo & Flanck Rondo,” double sided, Watercolor, Paint, Pencil, String on Paper with Newspaper Edge, 17” x 17”, 1919.Image courtesy of the Slotin Folk Art Auction.

This past weekend’s lots were filled with a who’s who in the outsider and self-taught art world. One of our notable favorites include, the double-sided Aero Rondo & Flanck Rondo by Charles A.A. Dellschau, considered one of America’s earliest known outsider artists. His works were featured in the Morbid Anatomy Museum’s show Opus Hypnagogia last fall in Brooklyn. Dellschau’s colorful works are said to be inspired by his time in the Sonora Aero Club and the dreams, inventions, and stories of the members of the club. The piece sold for $16,000.

It wouldn’t be a Folk Art Auction without some of the classics, like lot 161, the Bill Traylor piece Baby Chicken, which sold for $35,000 a little below the estimate. Along with another classic, Blue Mounds Highest Point of Kansas State, a landscape by Joseph Yoakum whose work is frequently shown by the Carl Hammer Gallery. The piece sold for $15,000. There were also several paintings by Howard Finster available, most notably Visions Of The Monsters Of The Clouds which sold for $8,500.

The auction grossed $1.2 million in sales this year with the average price per lot coming in at $1,080. Calvin and Ruby Black’s “Evonne” Possum Trot Doll earned top lot with a final price of $72,000. The next Slotin Folk Art Auction occurs in November.

Howard Finster, “Visions Of The Monsters Of The Clouds”, Enamel, glitter on Board with Artist Decorated Frame, 48” x 31”, 1980. Image courtesy of the Slotin Folk Art Auction.

Howard Finster, “Visions Of The Monsters Of The Clouds”, Enamel, glitter on Board with Artist Decorated Frame, 48” x 31”, 1980. Image courtesy of the Slotin Folk Art Auction.


Joseph Yoakum, “Blue Mounds Highest Point of Kansas State”, Colored Pencil and Pen on Paper, 18” x 12”. Provenance: Carl Hammer Gallery. Image courtesy of the Slotin Folk Art Auction.

Joseph Yoakum, “Blue Mounds Highest Point of Kansas State”, Colored Pencil and Pen on Paper, 18” x 12”. Provenance: Carl Hammer Gallery. Image courtesy of the Slotin Folk Art Auction.


William Hawkins, “Willard Hotel”, Enamel on Masonite, 60” x 48”, 1987. Image courtesy of the Slotin Folk Art Auction.

William Hawkins, “Willard Hotel”, Enamel on Masonite, 60” x 48”, 1987. Image courtesy of the Slotin Folk Art Auction.


Bill Traylor, “Baby Chick”, Charcoal Crayon on Cardboard, 10” x 10.5”. Provenance: Judy Saslow Gallery. Image courtesy of the Slotin Folk Art Auction.

Bill Traylor, “Baby Chick”, Charcoal Crayon on Cardboard, 10” x 10.5”. Provenance: Judy Saslow Gallery. Image courtesy of the Slotin Folk Art Auction.