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LAMA’s 50th

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA), headquartered in a 17,000-square-foot gallery in Van Nuys, California, has been steadily auctioning works by important 20th century artists, designers and architects for nearly two decades, and will hold their 50th auction on October 17, 2010. Director Peter Loughrey, who established LAMA in 1992, cites Pacific Standard Time, Art in L.A. 1945–1980—a celebration of L.A. art with concurrent exhibitions throughout California beginning in fall 2011—as an inspiration for the auction offerings. “In anticipation of the Getty-funded ‘Pacific Standard Time’ exhibitions to be held throughout California next year, the market has been yearning for great California-related modernism,” he says. Loughrey names an original Eames ECS unit, once set up in the Herman Miller Showroom by the Eames office, as an “obvious highlight,” as well as a photomural of Mies van der Rohe designs created by the late architect Craig Ellwood (exhibited at LACMA in 1969), and a desk made for Walt Disney Studios by German-born designer KEM Weber, used in the studio to create early Disney animation. And no Alexander Calder devotee should miss the numbered, signed and dated hammock he created in 1975.

An Eames Contract Storage (ECS) unit, made in 1961, shown installed at the LAMA gallery in Los Angeles. “This particular example was set up in the Herman Miller showroom by the Eames office as the ideal combination of modular parts from this design,” says Loughrey. The original ad for the unit reads, “ECS is a system of storage, sleeping and study units designed to meet the extraordinary requirements of the dormitory. ECS is also apt to be appropriate to other special and exacting situations.” Consisting of a desk, shelving, closet space and a Murphy bed, the ECS was marketed heavily as the solution for college dormitories and young kids’ rooms alike. Estimate: $10,000–$15,000. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Modern Auctions.

To see some of our favorite picks from the auction preview, check out the slideshow.

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