20th Century Design Auction at Skinner Spotlights Contemporary Art and Nakashima Furniture

Richard Lin [Lin Show Yu] (British, b. 1933), Painting, January 1970 (Lot 277, Estimate $10,000-$15,000)

Richard Lin [Lin Show Yu] (British, b. 1933), Painting, January 1970 (Lot 277, Estimate $10,000-$15,000)

BOSTON, MA – November 13, 2014 – An impressive selection of 20th Century Design will be on the auction block at Skinner, Inc. on December 6. This colorful sale showcases fine examples of art glass, furniture, and metalwork, and also includes two notable private collections: The John Boyer Collection of Contemporary Paintings & Sculpture, and mid-century modern furnishings from the Mary Griggs Burke Estate.

Jane Prentiss, Director of 20th Century Design at Skinner observes, “This auction features items that are fresh to the market, and collectors will be excited to see how they can blend early modernism with contemporary design in their homes.”

The John Boyer Collection of Contemporary Paintings & Sculpture

John Boyer was a passionate supporter of emerging contemporary artists throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Living in one of the few contemporary-designed homes in Lincoln, MA, Boyer purchased much of his collection at the local Clark Gallery, directly from artists or during his travels abroad. His home exemplified his love of gardening, art, and design. Boyer’s outstanding collection features an assortment of artwork by many sought-after artists, such as György Kepes  (Lot 298, estimated between $2,000 and $2,500) and Richard Lin (Lot 277, $10,000 to $15,000), as well as Linda Ross, Howard Ben Tre, David Phillips, Livio de Marchi, and more.

The Mary Griggs Burke Estate

The Mary Griggs Burke Estate includes the furnishings of the celebrated Burke House in Oyster Bay, NY. The home, which was featured in the magazine Architectural Record and in the book Design Research: The Store that Brought American Living to Modern Homes, was designed and furnished by renowned Boston architect Ben Thompson. Thompson founded The Architects Collaborative (TAC) and Design Research, a Cambridge, MA, based store that became a hub for modern design during the mid-20th century.

In his work on the Burke House, Thompson combined his own designs with the Danish modern aesthetic that he helped cultivate in America. Mary Griggs Burke was best known for her passionate collecting of Japanese ceramics, and the home also included a gorgeous Japanese garden in addition to the early Design Research furnishings.

The Burke House has stood the test of time for its good design, and this auction presents a historical record of this wonderful home. The catalog includes interior photography of the home taken in the 1950s by André Kertész.

George Nakashima (1905-1990), Two-piece Dining Table, American walnut, New Hope, Pennsylvania, c. 1975 (Lot 278, Estimate $27,000-$37,000)

George Nakashima (1905-1990), Two-piece Dining Table, American walnut, New Hope, Pennsylvania, c. 1975 (Lot 278, Estimate $27,000-$37,000)

George Nakashima

Skinner is pleased to offer a group of modern furniture by George Nakashima purchased directly from the artist’s studio. Nakashima aimed to express the energy of the whole tree through the objects he created, believing that “Trees have a yearning to live again, perhaps to provide the beauty, strength and utility to serve man.” An extraordinary example is an unusual two-piece dining table, circa 1975, cut from a single slab of old-growth American walnut, (Lot 278, $27,000 to $37,000), functioning as a grand modern banquet table or the two pieces can be used separately.

Four conoid chairs (Lot 294, $16,000 to $25,000) and a beautiful conoid bench (Lot 313, $30,000 to $40,000) are also available. The original collector of the bench visited Nakashima’s studio, fell in love with the piece, and had to convince the artist to sell it. Now, these works of art are ready to bring a taste of the outdoors into new homes.

Tiffany Studios Curtain Border Floor Lamp, Mosaic art glass, bronze, New York, c. 1908 (Lot 139, Estimate $30,000-$50,000)

Tiffany Studios Curtain Border Floor Lamp, Mosaic art glass, bronze, New York, c. 1908 (Lot 139, Estimate $30,000-$50,000)

Decorative Arts

Lighting forms an important component of any interior design. This auction features a Tiffany Studios curtain border floor lamp, circa 1908, boasting an uncommonly striking patina due to natural oxidation (Lot 139, $30,000 to $50,000). A French Art Nouveau lamp by Raoul Larche, circa 1900, depicting a beautiful Loie Fuller in bronze (Lot 120, $25,000 to $30,000) can add ambience to any room. Art glass, pottery, silver, and metalwork will round out the decorative arts component of the auction.

Previews, Catalog and Bidding

Please join Skinner for a reception and Gallery Walk to view highlights from the auction on Friday, December 5th at 6:00 P.M. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to 508-970-3240 or events@skinnerinc.com.

Previews for the auction are free and open to the public, and will be held on Thursday, December 4, from noon to 5 P.M., and Friday, December 5, from noon to 8 P.M. Illustrated Catalog #2770B is available from the Subscription Department, at 508-970-3240, or from the Gallery. Prices realized will be available online, at www.skinnerinc.com, both during and after the sale. The Skinner website enables users to view every lot in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs and bid live, in real-time, through SkinnerLive!

About Skinner

Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, fine musical instruments, rare books, Asian art, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts, as well as in Coral Gables, Florida, with bidders participating in person, by phone, and online. Join auctions live with SkinnerLive! and Bidsquare. For more information and to read our blog, visit the website atwww.skinnerinc.com, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.



Jane Prentiss
Director of 20th Century Design

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *