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The subject of this original pen and ink is the first native-born black American athlete to ever win a world title, Joe Gans. Gans was the epitome of strategy and execution in boxing during the Golden Age, and is now regarded as a fighter that was way ahead of his time. A fabulous piece of Americana, it reveals the prejudices attached to the black race during the Golden Age of boxing. While the art acts like a comic strip, telling the story of the rise of Gans to greatness and wealth, the artist has rendered Joe Gans in much the same exaggerated form as all black people during this time were perceived by white artists. Features are very monkey-like, without much attention to realistic facial detail (especially with regards to the woman whose head peeks out from a doorway). Framed to 12x19”. Paper is slightly water-stained on the right edge and bottom right corner, but this does not affect the overall presentation of the piece. Otherwise Excellent.
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