Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chic at Sotheby's

We buy a lot of things from auctions for our clients so I'm often perusing the catalogs. Even if you don't buy anything, I think they are a great resource for design ideas and a reference for custom pieces. There's a great photo of Kelly Wearstler from her book Domicilium Decoratus of her lying around reading auction catalogs. I get the feeling she's a serious buyer.

Anyway, the point of my post is that while flipping through the 20th Century Decorative Arts Selected by Gordon Watson sale catalog for the Sotheby's auction tomorrow in London, I came across the screen above designed by Robert Crowder. I'm more of a modern kind of girl but for some reason I really love this screen and technically, it is modern since it was made in the 1960's. The description from the catalog is pretty interesting too.

"Crowder, an American, first visited Japan in 1934. The trip began a lifelong love affair with the country and its art. His training with the great painters Shunko Mochizuki and Shimamoto-sensei served him well after his repatriation to the United States in 1943. After a brief stay in Chicago, Crowder moved west, opening a gallery in Los Angeles in the neighbourhood of Greta Garbo and other Hollywood legends. He quickly became famous for his screens and fabulous textiles, which as recently as 2005 were ordered for an international redecoration of the Chanel boutiques."

In a continuation of the story, the expansion and redesign of the Chanel boutique by Peter Marino won an AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture in 2005. The only photos I can find are very modern so I have no idea what they did with the screens and textiles mentioned in the catalog but I still think it's interesting. So the moral of this story is, check out an auction catalog, you never know what you might find!

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