Monday, November 9, 2015


The above photos are from an exhibit on the uptown artist Raven Chanticleer (the paper mache models shown above were an abstraction of the wax works that can be seen after the jump) who founded The African American Wax Museum in a Harlem brownstone during the decade before the neighborhood became fashionable but what happened to the life size statues after the artist passed away in 2002?  Written lore has it that the pieces were destroyed before the property had been sold a couple of years back but a tip came in that they had been recovered about a year ago.  Was there any local art institutions located uptown that would have the hand made wax figures saved for their permeant collections?
One of the issues at hand was that Mr. Chanticleer was an openingly gay man and did not have support of many close to him after the his death.  We contacted a local gay-owned gallery to see if they would help out but that did not work out at the end based on a quickly looming timeline where the artifacts would basically be thrown in a dumpster and lost forever.  Then one of the interior designer that we had  worked with at Sugar Hill Market came to mind who had storage space for all of his antiques that he used for his business.  An email was sent out and the 4 remaining wax statues along with a few paintings were then safely stored away.

A permanent home search was later launched but none of the uptown institutions wanted to feature the work or be responsible for the small collection.  Fortunately downtowns' LGBT Leslie Lohman Gallery came to the rescue and took a couple of the iconic figures.  There are still some works left that need a home so anyone who might be interested should contact us directly and we can make all of the required connections:

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