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A New Sale Will Test the Auction Market for Works by Black Artists

Pieces from the collection of Bill and Pam Royall are going to Phillips in New York.

Mickalene Thomas’s I’ve Been Good to Me is estimated to draw bids from $200,000 to $300,000.

Mickalene Thomas’s I’ve Been Good to Me is estimated to draw bids from $200,000 to $300,000.

Courtesy of Phillips

Bill Royall was a Richmond, Va.-based businessman who sold his direct-marketing firm, Royall & Co., for $850 million in 2014.

Well before then, though, he and his wife Pam had spent years buying art, donating art, and funding artistic institutions in Richmond.