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Midcentury modern works drive upcoming auctions
Jul 28, 2017
Melissa Studach

Curvilinear shapes, manmade materials and minimal ornamentation: This auction season fancies the midcentury modern collector. Works by Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Frank Gehry and more are filling auction house lots. Here are the upcoming exhibitions worth your bid.

Modern Art and Furniture
Erik Chambert chaise lounge, oil on canvas by Pipin Henderson, and German-designed brass chandelier by Kinkeldey; courtesy Bruun Rasmussen

Bruun Rasmussen’s modern art and furniture auction features nine categories of work, including lighting, paintings, rugs and sculptures. The exhibit, which runs August 1 and 7, features the design era’s most iconic international names, from artist Salvador Dalí to designer Erik Chambert.

The Collector's Sale
Milo Baughman lounge chairs, Eero Saarinen ‘Tulip’ set, Frank Gehry for Knoll Power Play chair and ottoman; courtesy Freeman’s

With items spanning nearly every specialist category of Freeman’s, The Collector’s Sale boasts more than 400 lots containing midcentury modern furniture, western motif American art, Chinese porcelain and more. An Eero Saarinen “Tulip” set and illustrations by Al Hirschfeld bid next to Louix XVI decoratives in this diverse collection. The auction will be held August 9 in Philadelphia.

Mass Modern
Frank Gehry nesting chairs, Pierre Guariche floor lamp, and Fritz Hansen settee; courtesy Wright

Wright’s annual Mass Modern auction returns for a two-day event beginning August 9. Designs by Milo Baughman, Andy Warhol, Frank Gehry and more make up the no-reserve auction’s 600 lots. Score a Fritz Hansen settee or a double-branch, brass floor lamp by Pierre Guariche, along with other limited editions that haven’t been in the market for years.

American Design auction
Frederick Weinberg folding screen, Harry Bertoia diamond chair and ottoman, Charles and Ray Eames unit; courtesy Wright

Then this fall, the best of 20th-century design will be up for auction for Wright’s American Design exhibition. There’s no lack of the midcentury’s formulated structures here. Pieces produced by greats like Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard and Frederick Weinberg will be up for grabs at the September 21 auction.

The Collection of Edward Albee
The Collection of Edward Albee; courtesy Sotheby’s

Come September 26, Sotheby’s will host The Collection of Edward Albee, a compilation by the late, Tony Award–winning playwright. Recognized as redefining postwar theater, Albee was an avid art collector, consistently rotating his 100-plus pieces around his Tribeca loft. The collection reveals a new side of Albee’s creative mind, and all proceeds from the auction benefit The Edward F. Albee Foundation, which supports residencies for writers and visual artists in Montauk, Long Island.

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