Christie’s announced The Steven A. Greenberg Collection, Masterpieces of French Art Deco to be auctioned in New York on December 12 and 13, 2012, in an evening and day sale. This museum-quality collection chronicles a unique chapter in the history of 20th Century design, focusing in depth on some of the most distinguished artists associated with the historic Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925 –Jean Dunand, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, and Jean Dupas. Two important lacquer screens by Eileen Gray, perfect complements in their rarity and stature to the works of these artists, constitute another key facet of Steven Greenberg’s collection. With approximately 210 lots, the sale is expected to realize in excess of $15 million.
Steven A. Greenberg was a genuine connoisseur whose passion for the subject was sparked in the 1970s when he bought his first pieces on a trip to Paris. He applied himself with energy, focus and determination to create a superb collection that celebrated both the sophisticated style and the meticulous craftsmanship of great French Art Deco. And he did so from an American perspective, appreciating the influence of the great French artists on American design. His office was situated for many years in the Art Deco styled Rockefeller Center. Here, on the 67th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, space that is now the building’s observation deck, he installed his magnificent homage to Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. Steven A. Greenberg was a multi-faceted entrepreneur whose business interests ranged from financial public relations, investment management and owning and operating nightlife venues.
Philippe Garner, International Director of 20th Century Decorative Art & Photographs, comments: “Steven Greenberg was a pioneer. He appreciated the quality, refinement and historic importance of French Art Deco at a time when the style was just starting to attract wider attention after decades of neglect. He collected with flair and with confidence, trusting his own eye and instinct. The pieces he assembled constitute a rare tactile and visual treat, for he was sensitive to fine materials and exceptional craftsmanship as well as to elegance of line and of form. The Steven A. Greenberg Collection of Art Deco is one of the most distinguished ever assembled. The auction is the most spectacular offering that we have seen in America in recent times. It is an honor to present these remarkable works – largely unseen for so many years.“
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