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A private collection of mid-century design & ceramic arts to lead Sotheby's 2012 auction of 20th century design
Lot 56: Lucie Rie Vase. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced that it will offer A Private Collection of Mid-Century Design and Ceramic Arts as a highlight of its 7 March 2012 sale of 20th Century Design in New York. From some of the most iconic forms of organic stoneware designed by Danish ceramicist Axel Salto, to an extremely rare assemblage of vessels thrown by Lea Halpern, the ceramic collection contains some of the finest examples of midcentury ceramic art to appear at auction in New York in recent years. Other featured artists include Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Lucie Rie, and Laura Andreson. The furniture, including works by George Nakashima, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charlotte Perriand and many others, exemplifies the mid-century modern aesthetic adapted to a contemporary lifestyle. Curated by the New York private dealer Larry Weinberg, the collection was displayed in a series of modernist homes for an American family, from Montauk to Los Angeles.

“Under the curatorial eye of Larry Weinberg, this academic, yet deeply soulful collection achieves a real serenity in how it re-creates the midcentury lifestyle in an idealized manner, which could only be achieved in today’s market,” notes James Zemaitis, Senior Vice President of Sotheby’s 20th Century Design department in New York. “The collection is especially remarkable in how it synthesizes California and Scandinavian design.” With the majority of the pieces estimated around $10,000*, the auction represents an excellent opportunity for both new and seasoned collectors to acquire museum-quality works from influential figures at an accessible price. The 20th Century Design sale will be on exhibition in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries beginning 3 March, alongside the Contemporary Art Auction, while a related event is being held at the New York School of Interior Design:

Panel Discussion: Wednesday, 29 February 2012, 6pm
At the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID)
170 East 70th Street (between Lexington and 3rd Avenues)

A group of esteemed gallery owners, ceramic specialists, and designers will gather to discuss the rise of 20th century European and American Post-war ceramics. Panelists include design writer and curator Larry Weinberg; James Zemaitis, Senior Vice President of Sotheby’s auction house’s 20th Century Design department in New York; Kim Hostler of Hostler-Burrows, a gallery specializing in Scandinavian artists and architects; Lee Mindel, architect and ceramics specialist; and Ben Williams, ceramics specialist at Philips de Pury. Moderated by Judith Gura, Professor of Design History at NYSID.

Admission is free; RSVP to or call 212-492-1500 x405

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium

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