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Hollywood collector's distinctive Art Deco and 20th century art treasures offered at Heritage Auctions
Charles Ephraim Burchfield (American, 1893-1967), Rapids at Sunset, Little Beaver Creek, Salem, Ohio, 1917. Watercolor on joined paper laid on board, 18-1/8 x 25-3/4 inches. Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000.

DALLAS, TX.- A remarkable collection focused on international art from the Jazz Age through World War II is the foundation of Heritage Auctions’ Through the Modernist Lens: A Distinctive Hollywood Collection of Art Deco and 20th Century Art which will be offered March 17-19 by the Dallas-based auction house.

Standing out in the crowd of dramatic pieces is a statuette of a woman that was featured in the classic film, Ninotchka (est. $8,000-12,000). This rare screen-used prop from the Golden Age of film, starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas, was designed by Adrian Gilbert, a costume and set designer remembered for his work on Wizard of Oz.

“The owner’s conviction to assemble art and design from an age that promoted themes of diversity and novel motifs - even daring ones - was matched by his belief that artists and designers of the era were shaping a truly modern aesthetic,” said Aviva Lehmann, Heritage Auctions’ Director of American Art.

Multiple watercolors by Charles Burchfield standout with Rapids at Sunset, Little Beaver Creek, Salem, Ohio (est. $20,000-30,000) and An Afternoon, September 10, 1916 (est. $25,000-35,000) showcase his skill in capturing idyllic nature scenes while two pieces from French artist Jean Dubuffett, Monument aux Ailes, (est. $20,000-30,000) and La Fumée, 1966, (est. $25,000-35,000) are excellent examples of his Art Brut or “raw art.”

“Through the Modernist Lens features a great variety of important decorative arts exemplifying the quintessential three-dimensional objects produced during this time. In addition to the largest set of Spritzdekor dinnerware and accessories ever assembled in the Americas, the auction showcases silver, art glass and wrought metal objects from around the world,” added Lehmann.

The bronze figure of Mercury (est. $5,000-7,000) was one of 104 which surmounted the traffic lights on the corners of Fifth Avenue from 8th Street to 59th Street in New York City from 1931 to 1964 and is offered in this auction. Designed by Joseph H. Freedlander, this 16 ½ inch-tall bronze is one of only seven believed to have survived. Freedlander’s signal was illustrative of the many municipalities across the United States incorporating elements of the Art Deco aesthetic in public environments to elicit an interpretation of a "modern" city.

This auction includes many artists including William Zorach, Millard Sheets and Thomas Hart Benton. The collection embraces art movements including Cubism, Abstract Expressionism and Social Realism that have been curated over four decades.

Others items offered but not limited to:

• Chana Orloff’s Femme Retenant sa Shemise, 1928, (est. $30,000-50,000)

• Glenn O. Coleman’s The Empire State Building, (est. $25,000-35,000)

• Thomas Hart Benton’s Steelworker, (est. $8,000-12,000)

• William Zorach’s Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, 1920, (est. $2,000-3,000)

• Millard Sheets’ Bridge Over the Arroyo Seco – Pasadena, circa 1927, (est. $2,000-3,000)

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