Buy Art, Benefit Children

We are honored to partner with Aaron Payne Fine Art in their new program: "True Harvest - Art * Advocacy * Philanthropy"

Each week they will connect the missions of charities with a curated group of artworks. You will enjoy the connections between these incredible organizations and the particular pieces of art they are offering. For #NKCGH it's "ART, JAZZ, BASEBALL & THE KING!"

Please visit their website this month to support the arts and find something you love!

Visit Aaron Payne Fine Art



Throughout the month of October, we will present a small offering of artworks. Each Saturday we will highlight a favorite charity. For each of these appeals, I tried to pick some artworks which related in theme or medium to the cause.

I want the purchase of the work to be both an act of love and also something that will remind you of the charity when you enjoy it. I also wanted the purchase to be part of a collaboration between the art, the gallery, and the charity…. so, I lowered all the prices for the duration of this appeal.

My hope is that selling them at this level benefits the charity as much as possible and also leaves the buyer feeling like they got something they love at a fair price.

Our first charity is Nat King Cole Generation Hope.

Aaron Payne Art


Nat King Cole became the first African American entertainer to host a television variety show, in 1956. As such, he was the first Black man many White families “invited” into their living rooms. He was, in many ways, the Jackie Robinson of television and music.

A virtuoso jazz pianist, he is now best remembered for his soft baritone voice, which he used to great effect in both big band and jazz genres. His popularity as a musical artist has never waned in the nearly sixty years since his death in 1964.

If you were to pass me in my car on many afternoons, you might catch me loudly singing any number of his tunes. Or perhaps you’ve been in my office when the Nat King Cole Pandora channel is crooning in the background.

Seven years older than Cole, Romare Bearden was an American artist, author, and songwriter. Much of his early work focused on memories of his life in the South, but also of unity and cooperation within the African American community . By his death, he was regarded, by the New York Times, as “the nation’s foremost collagist” in his 1988 obituary. In 1987, he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts.

Less known is Bearden’s career as a songwriter. He co-wrote the jazz classic “Sea Breeze”, which was recorded by Billy Eckstine and Dizzy Gillespie — in whose band Nat’s wife Maria also sang! Out Chorus is one of the many jazz-themed prints Bearden produced. He was friendly with many musicians and this work reflects the intimacy he shared with them.

Richard Yarde dedicated much of his earlier work to the personalities and themes of the African American experience, including large vibrant paintings depicting the jazz world of the Harlem Renaissance. His most famous series was a tribute to the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. The watercolor we are offering captures the image of one of the greats — Billie Holiday — a peer in musical genius to Nat King Cole. As Yarde wrote, “Jazz is an important source of energy and inspiration when I paint. I see the visual structure of my paintings as being very musical. The grid is like the backbeat, it keeps time in the work. The images that break through the grid are similar to improvisation.”

This first two works seem like pretty clear connections to Cole through their emphasis on jazz music. But what does a mezcal cup with a picture of the baseball player Bill Buckner have to do with Nat King Cole? A lot, as it all turns out. Nat King Cole was such an avid baseball fanatic and Dodgers fan that when Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine was being built, he had his choice of box seats. He purposely chose one on the first base side so he could look right into the Dodgers dugout and see what the players and coaches were doing.

Bill Buckner was a beloved player with the Los Angeles Dodgers, helping the team to the 1974 pennant. But a serious ankle injury led to a trade. He eventually ended up with the Boston Red Sox, where he became one of the most famous first basemen in Boston history. However, it would be Buckner’s iconic error in Game Six of the 1986 World Series for which he would always be remembered — and long scorned. He bore all this graciously — becoming part of the lore of the famous Red Sox curse.

Nat King Cole’s wife Maria, herself a musician and avid baseball fan, would later move to Boston, loving the Dodgers and Red Sox in equal measure.

And so we come full circle with iconic artist Ken Price, who made the cup. Although he worked primarily in clay, Price saw himself as a sculptor, using the medium that he loved to invent in form and color. Now viewed as one of the most iconic West Coast/New Mexican artists of his generation, Price loved to listen to jazz and baseball games while working in his Taos studio.

Jazz, art, baseball — it all circles back to Nat King Cole Generation Hope, a charity bringing music to children in inner city schools — founded and led by Nat and Maria’s youngest daughters, twins Timolin and Casey.


We will post a new group of artworks and highlight a charity each Saturday in October. When a work of art is purchased, you’ll get to choose one of our five charities. The gallery will then make a donation (the amount is indicated with each item) to that cause.

All of the works will be available for purchase until Giving Tuesday, December 1. So, you’ll have almost two months to look at the works and learn more about the organizations. Of course, if you see something you love…don’t wait! And you’re certainly welcome to donate to any of them without buying anything.

Additionally, anyone who purchases an artwork during this period will be eligible to work with me to donate this piece by Claude Lawrence in their name — to a school, library or museum of their choice. So, your purchase will further the opportunity for others to enjoy a piece of art and learn about a working artist. Plus, you’ll get to be involved with an institution that is meaningful to you.


Aaron Payne was born and raised in Los Angeles. After earning a degree in History & Literature from Harvard he decided to do the obvious things…working first in documentary film, and then moving to New York to pursue a career as an art dealer.

Aaron Payne

Aaron has specialized in American Art since joining Sid Deutsch Gallery on 57th Street in New York in 1989. In 1991, Aaron became the director of the gallery and participated in the sale and exhibition of important works by American Modernists.

For the last 25 years, aaron payne FINE ART has specialized in the work of Twentieth Century American masters, focusing primarily on the American Modernists, Stieglitz Circle, American Abstract Artists, African-American Art, Postwar & Contemporary art. aaron payne FINE ART works with both new and experienced collectors, individuals and institutions, to provide the highest level of quality, scholarship, and service.

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