PHILADELPHIA — On Friday, November 18, beginning at 11 am Eastern time, Freeman’s presents Modern and Contemporary Craft: Selections from the Robert L. Pfannebecker Collection, nearly two hundred lots of American craft by leading artists such as Dale Chihuly, Wayne Higby, Andrea Gill, John McQueen, Warren Seelig and Patti Warashina. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
According to Robert L. Pfannebecker, “collectors are risk-takers.” A lifelong supporter of artists working in a variety of media, Pfannebecker began collecting in the 1960s and since then has amassed a collection of thousands of objects, from jewelry and enamelwork to ceramics, furniture, glass and fiber art. By the 1980s, Pfannebecker had built one of the largest and most reputable collections of contemporary craft in the United States.
“We’re honored to bring selections from the esteemed collection of Bob Pfannebecker to market,” said Head of Sale Tim Andreadis. “Bob collected works with an element of surprise and wonder, in addition to beauty. Craft collectors will be drawn to this sale, which reveals Bob’s keen eye, broad scope of interest and unwavering support for artists.”
Modern and Contemporary Craft features a fine selection of ceramics by Betty Woodman, Andrea Gill, Wayne Higby and Fred Bauer, among many others. The auction also offers eight works by Mark Burns, an American ceramicist dubbed “the John Waters of ceramics” by the Boston Globe; works such as I Monument and Bob’s Big Boy combine elements of self-portraiture with absurd or unexpected imagery, revealing the distinctly queer aesthetic Burns has developed during his decades-long career.
The work of Warren Seelig makes unexpected, exciting connections between the worlds of sculpture and textile art. With five works by Seelig on offer, Modern and Contemporary Craft highlights the artist’s sculptural use of materials such as cotton, mylar, and woven tapestry. Several works by Helen Bitar — from quilts, throws and pillows to an embroidered neck piece — will delight fiber art collectors, as will fiber works by Ronald King and Dominic Di Mare, who is represented by the 1965 piece titled Promenande, estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
In addition to offerings in important 20th-century craft across mediums, the Pfannebecker collection also features striking furniture designs, including a selection of brightly colored chairs by Arne Jacobsen, Warren Platner and Vico Magistretti, as well as a classic LCW chair design by Charles and Ray Eames. With timeless designs, including a coveted Eero Saarinen Womb chair and ottoman and a Coconut chair by George Nelson for Herman Miller, the sale offers unique opportunities for collectors of 20th-century furniture.
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