Report: Lucas Outbid for "Sugar Shack"

Ernie Barnes, Sugar Shack, 1976

Artnet News cites a "rumor" that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was underbidder on Ernie Barnes' Sugar Shack, which sold for $15.3 million at Christies. A museum spokesperson had no comment.

The winning bidder, Houston energy trader Bill Perkins, paid over 76 times the high estimate. Barnes was the subject of a 2019 retrospective at the California African American Museum.


The winning bidder, energy trader Bill Perkins, is quoted in The Times after the sale: “I stole it — I would have paid a lot more. For certain segments of America, it’s more famous than the ‘Mona Lisa.’”
I don't know the artist. The realized price exceeded any past instance of bidding beyond the high estimate that I've ever heard of.
Good for the seller, though.
Anonymous said…
That artist's work was used in the old 1970's sitcom "Good Times" as a stand-in piece for one of the characters playing the role of an amateur painter.

The artist was technically good but stylistically hokey.

Unknown said…
Perhaps the Lucas Museum was the highest bidder for "Storm Dance" which sold at Christie's on May 13th.
Estimate was $100-150,000. Sold for $2,340,000.

ERNIE BARNES (1938 - 2009)
Storm Dance
signed ‘ERNIE BARNES’ (lower right)
acrylic on canvas, in artist's frame
48 3⁄4 x 24 3⁄4 in. (123.8 x 62.9 cm.)
Painted in 1977.
I'd go to the Lucas if they had a jewel like this...