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Cumberland Posey
(b. June 20, 1890 - d. March 28, 1946)
Inducted in 2006
2015 ACEO Sketch Card Cumberland Willis "Cum" Posey by Anthony Douglas
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Comments: After Posey's election to the HOF, I included his name in my weekly eBay searches with the hopes of finding an item. Although it's not the ideal portrait, where his mug takes up the entire card, I did find a 1988 Pittsburgh Baseball Club SGC 96 in April, 2007 and won the auction from Phil Garry (vguerrerobb).

UPDATE: A PSA 10 example came up on my computer screen in late February, 2015 when I was browsing eBay for Negro League cards.  The seller was a friend so I shot off an email – “You’re killing me with this card and price”.  Shortly thereafter he responded and we came to an agreement at a more reasonable price.  It was still a little high but I hadn’t purchased much for the collection so figured – why not.  I really wasn’t actively looking for this particular card so it’s funny how it landed in my pocket.  I’m glad to bump the SGC 96 example I had nonetheless.  Thanks Scott, much appreciated.

UPDATE: Often, I'll enter last names of HOFers I'm missing into the eBay search field to see what pops up on the screen. That's what happened in August, 2015 when Sol White appeared on my laptop looking back at me.  I checked some of the other offerings from the same seller and several items caught my eye.  Anthony Douglas, the artist, obviously enjoyed painting Negro Leaguers and these images were fantastic.  His available artwork, includes some great stuff from celebrities to Hollywood icons.  In addition to the White, I immediately became interested in the Judy Johnson, Josh Gibson, and Cum Posey.  The Buy It Now price for White was $10 with an opportunity to make an offer.  I needed a Sol White for my collection and this card was perfect.  It was an easy decision - SOLD!  I made an $8 offer on the Gibson to replace a Perez-Steele card I had. The seller accepted.  I had a hot hand and offered $6 for the Judy Johnson to replace another Perez Steele tribute card.  Again - hooked and sold.  At this point, I felt the price was good and didn't want to low ball the artist.  I offered $6 for the Cumberland Posey to replace a 1988 Pittsburgh Baseball club issue I had and, of course, he obliged.  I had scored four beautiful art pieces, great additions to the portrait gallery.  Upon receipt I couldn't be happier.  They're fantastic!

Card Details Below:  
Year(s): 2015
ACC Set Designation:
Set Name: ACEO Sketch Cards
Country: United States

According to


ACEO stands for Art Card Originals and Editions. They are kissin' cousins of ATC's or Art Trading Cards. Both are by definition cards of artwork measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches, the same as a standard playing card. ACEO's originated on Ebay, and are a favorite form of art on the world's biggest online auction site.


While purists will tell you an ATC must be traded, never sold, it's perfectly true that an ATC is a sub-set of ACEO's. Just like baseball trading cards, they originally were intended to be swapped but now these attractive and creative cards are a class of collectible for sale. Who knows, in future some ACEO artists may become quite collectible. Even now, some ACEO's from popular artists go for a goodly price.

As to medium, ACEO's come in many forms. Oil, acrylic,watercolor, pastel (infrequently; the medium doesn't lend itself easily to small format and is less durable unless fixed.) Colored pencil work, while sneered at in the "serious" art community, is a very beloved medium for ACEO's and the artists who use these pigmented pencils create some stunning work. Some artists work in pen and ink, and also graphite pencil drawing.

But ACEO's don't just have to be made of standard art mediums. Collage artists do altered cards, digital artists make modified photographs, and fiber artists do beaded, knitted, and stitched cards as well.

The subjects can be as varied as a child's imagination, however animal, especially cat ACEO's are widely collected. Whimsical cards, persiflage, jokes and primitive art abound. Landscape miniatures in oils are particularly prized if skillfully done.

One technique of ACEO artwork is to let the frame tell "part of the story." The challenge of working in a 2.5 x 3.5 inch world can be met if the artist leaves a lot of the subject outside the frame and to the imagination. This is a valid compositional technique in art, and a "must" in ACEO work. Even though a picture may only be the size of a playing card, the actual composition suggested might be quite a few times larger, leaving the undone portions to the mind of the viewer to fill in.


Many artists display their works on Ebay and they sell them. Type in a search for ACEO and look at the incredible variety of artwork available. While serious artwork abounds on Ebay, and there are many artists with galleries online who are self-representing, ACEO works provide a great venue for selling art to the public, real original art or limited editions at a reasonable starting price.

Ebay hosts various groups that meet to discuss and exchange artwork. Artists and enthusiasts join these groups and trade cards or "challenges" and "dares." A dare comes from one artist and is assigned to another to paint a subject or a theme. This can take the artist out of their comfort zone and is a way to spark imagination and growth.

There are now galleries around the US that display and sell ACEO's, which tells us that this art form is growing in popularity everywhere.


As a hobby, ACEO's are great fun for the amateur artist, and can be cost-effective. While canvas, clayboard and watercolor paper are sometimes quite expensive, working in a small format means many works can be obtained from a standard sheet of fine paper. The constraints of working in small format help sharpen skills in composition and value as well as being a real challenge in portraiture. As you get better as an artist, you may feel it is time to list and sell your work. Then you have become--a professional, if you accept the widely-held definition that a professional artist is one who sells their works for compensation.


ACEO's are a growing passion for many people. People collect by subject matter (cats, horses, dogs, wildlife, landscape, or medium (drawings, oils, acrylics, watercolors, colored pencil, altered media and collage.) There are a number of ways to display the collection. Many people keep the cards in sports-cards albums because the 2.5 x 3.5 inch cards fit perfectly into those sleeves. Other people incorporate them into their scrapbooks. Frames are available that display one or more favorite ACEO's. The frame can be a permanent decoration on the wall or desk, or it can be a changing art gallery, slipping a card in and out of a frame for a change of pace. The accessibility of ACEO's--fine art at a reasonable price, plus the small size make this portable art that fits many lifestyles. And historically, miniatures have been highly prized collectibles, from Persian miniatures, Victorian miniatures to today's incredible variety of cards to collect and display.


For children, ACEO making and collecting can become a rewarding past-time, one that can be done alone or with friends and classmates and family. I suggest that families start their own ACEO time at home. A rainy afternoon spent in creating cards can be a wonderful time of togetherness, sparking imagination and creativity. Have a clothesline artshow at the dollhouse afterwards and admire your results. ACEO's are truly art-for-everyone.