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Howard University Wins Back Black Madonna Stolen Decades Ago

  • Judge ruled against couple who said they got drawing as a gift
  • Sotheby’s contacted Howard about provenance ahead of auction
“Centralia Madonna” by Charles White
“Centralia Madonna” by Charles WhiteSource: Court Documents
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Howard University won a legal battle over a drawing of an African American Madonna figure by renowned Black artist Charles White that it said was stolen from its collection decades ago.

A federal judge in New York on Thursday ruled that the historically Black university in Washington has title to the 24-by-32-inch work, “Centralia Madonna,” free and clear of any claims by an elderly North Carolina couple who said they received the drawing as a gift in the early 1970s.