I can’t help to think how unfortunate it is that we didn’t learn about this story sooner and that perhaps the urban industry could have purchased some of these priceless treasures one of our own collected during his radio days starting in 1956. Magnificent Montague is responsible for the catch phrase “Burn Baby Burn” a sentiment that was echoed during the Watts Riots in 1965. Sadly, there were no takers (after this video was made) and the collection is now up for auction to help pay off Montague’s mounting bills.
The Montague Collection
“People say that blacks were ignored in history, but this collection shows that they did write, that they were written about, and that they were drawn, and shown as part of American culture. This isn’t a political statement. This is history.”
Nathaniel “Magnificent” Montague, Los Angeles Times, October 12, 1988
United Asset Management Services welcomes you to the Montague Collection of African American art and artifacts. Covering Black History from the slave years to the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the Collection is a testament to the determination and passion of famed former R&B DJ Nathaniel Montague and his wife and researcher Rose Casalan. It comprises more than fifty years of purchases from garage and estate sales; antique and book shops; and private collectors and auction houses, in both the US and Europe.
The Collection features a marvelously diverse and balanced array of over 8,000 items. Nathaniel and Rose felt strongly about not excluding anything of relevance, regardless of the sensitivities involved. History cannot be censored and retain its truth. Some items in the Collection may shock and anger the viewer, but they all serve to illuminate the reality of the African American experience.
Sample items from the Collection include the following: a 1773 signed first edition of slave-poet Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, the first book published by an African American; original slave bills of sale; Professor George Washington Carver’s lovely 1932 chalk drawing, “Dahlias,” done with chalk that Carver made himself from peanuts; the spectacular oil painting, “Before the Masked Ball,” circa 1865, a work that is one of only three known extant by Jean-Pierre Vallet, a student of Ingres; a letter by Toussaint L’Ouverture, the “Black Napoleon” of Haiti; a letter by Booker T. Washington, head of Tuskegee Institute; a deed signed by renowned escaped-slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglass when he was the Recorder of Deeds in Washington, D.C.; posters from Lincoln Motion Picture Company’s “All Colored Cast” films; autographed recordings by great anti-segregation symbol, contralto Marian Anderson; film reels of The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X; rare currency; and a rare copy of sheet music for “Listen to the Mocking Bird.”
The Montague Collection is one of the finest of its kind in the world and is now available for sale. Qualified parties are invited to register through our interest form and will receive a password enabling them to examine our extensive Montague Collection Inventory. The top priority of United AMS is to preserve the integrity of the Collection and sell it intact, rather than to dismantle an important historical treasure. We encourage visitors to this site to consider our exceptional acquisition opportunity.