Panel discussion including famed California woodworker Sam Maloof at Bonhams & Butterfields

Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to announce the Sept. 18, 2008, panel discussion "Masters and Apprentices in the Studio Craft Movement."

The program will highlight the studio craft movement and the apprenticeship system employed in America, while featuring a rare opportunity to interact with the master craftsman and one of his apprentices.

Acknowledged as one of the finest woodworkers of our time, Sam Maloof has designed and produced furniture infused with profound artistic vision for more than half a century. As one of the forerunners of California modern arts movement, his furnishings are described as handcrafted, honest, pleasing to the touch and ergonomically friendly. In the words of the late Grammy Award® winning legend Ray Charles, his works "have soul." The self-taught craftsman has produced some of the most exquisite pieces of furniture created in the last quarter century.

The sculptural nature of his creations has been written about many times with descriptions of the sensual flow of his line, the use of exotic woods for both textural and grain pattern — both in harmony and juxtaposition, have all been explored in the many articles and exhibition catalogs of his work.

"Bonhams & Butterfields continues to support passion for hand crafted studio works of art.  We are pleased to host Sam Maloof in the Los Angeles venue where the world auction record was set for his work, in March 2006," said Frank Maraschiello, Director of 20th Century Decorative Arts Department.

In 1985, Maloof was the first craftsman to be awarded the MacArthur Foundation Grant, also known as the "genius" grant. Maloof furniture has attracted a high profile clientele, including U.S. Presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton.

A Maloof rocker was the first work by a living craftsman ever included in the White House collection of American furniture and has been exhibited at the Vatican Museum. Maloof’s sculptured cradles, chests, bureaus and settees also grace the permanent collections of many of the world’s major museums, including: the Smithsonian Institution, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The panel discussion coincides with the Fall 2008 exhibition of 20th Century Decorative Arts to be sold at Bonhams & Butterfields. Featured auction highlights by Sam Maloof include a highly sought after walnut and ebony rocking chair ($30,000-$50,000), side table ($8,000-$12,000) and coffee table ($12,000-$18,000).

A Richard Neutra camel table ($7,000-$10,000) made for the Hafeley-Moore Twin Houses, Long Beach, Calif., circa 1953, will also be offered during the fall sale.  This model is so named because of its resemblance to a camel’s legs when it changes position. Designed for use in small spaces, the adjustable legs make it suitable as a dining or coffee table.

Additional works on offer during the September 22nd auction include: Frank Gehry’s Experimental Edges ‘Bubbles’ chaise lounge (estimate $12,000-$18,000); a highly sought after composition and painted wood dining suite from Paul Lazslo’s ‘George’ house (estimate $6,000-$9,000); a Robert Crowder six panel screen (estimate $10,000-$15,000); a Paul Evans Cityscape brass patchwork and glass table and six chairs (estimate $5,000-$8,000); a painted and cast aluminum coffee table by Donald Drumm (estimate $3,000-$5,000); and two works by Paul Tuttle, a ‘Flexible X’ aluminum, stainless steel and wood console table (estimate $2,000-$3,000) and a ‘Nonna’ rocker (estimate $3,000-$5,000). Property from the Museum of Art and Design in New York will also be featured. 

"Masters and Apprentices in the Studio Craft Movement" is free and open to the public.  Reservations are required as space is limited and strong interest among the Southern California design community is anticipated.

Previews for the 20th Century Decorative Arts auction are scheduled in conjunction with the September Sunset Estate sale Sept. 19-21 in Los Angeles.