Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Gallery Talk and Book Event with Second Generation California Craftsman Arthur Espenet Carpenter III

The 20th Century Decorative Arts Department at Bonhams & Butterfields, as part of its ongoing design lecture series, is pleased to announce a gallery talk with Tripp Carpenter (Arthur Espenet Carpenter III) on Saturday, October 2, 2010, at 2:00 pm. The event, which will be held at the firm’s prestigious Sunset Boulevard galleries in Los Angeles, is planned to coincide with the auction preview for the 20th Century Decorative Arts sale on October 5th. The preview will feature pieces related to Tripp Carpenter, Arthur Espenet Carpenter II and major figures of the Studio Craft movement as well as strong examples of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern works.

As the latest installment of the ongoing Bonhams’ 20th Century design lecture series, the event will feature a lively discussion with Tripp Carpenter about the recently published book written by his late father, Arthur Espenet Carpenter: Education of a Woodsmith (2010), as well as his journey to becoming a craftsman in his own right. This beautifully produced art book was carefully compiled, self-published and co-edited by Tripp Carpenter and Linda Moore. The book features engaging and often poetic text written by the elder Art Carpenter about his personal journey from what could have been a conventional 1950s existence to a life of creating beautiful objects with his own hands. The book also includes several rare, unpublished photos from the family and studio archives. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the Bonhams’ event.

Art Carpenter is considered one of the earliest and most influential 20th Century furniture makers in Contemporary American woodworking. Known for his spare, yet sensual forms and “California rollover” style, Carpenter produced furniture that was both striking and utilitarian. He helped to define the 1950s and 1960s post-war Studio Craft movement in California.

Born in New York City in 1920, he attended college at Dartmouth. After being enlisted into the Navy during World War II, Carpenter moved to San Francisco where he started to learn about crafting objects out of wood. A self-taught artist, Carpenter worked for over 40 years as both a teacher and a master craftsman based out of the small Northern California town of Bolinas. It was there, in a coastal studio on the edge of a scenic lagoon, that Carpenter lived and worked to create beautiful studio furniture and smaller wooden objects such as bowls with a simple, strong and organic style.

Carpenter’s work is included in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution and has been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Museum of Contemporary Craft in New York City. Arthur Espenet Carpenter II is considered one of the most prominent California craftsmen of the post-war California Studio Craft movement and his work is highly sought after by collectors.

“Turning log after log at the studio with my father, I watched him with his apprentices design and create many wonderful pieces — I learned a lot through just watching. It was always a pleasure to visit my dad in his shop and to see the beautiful pieces being finished for his loyal customers,” says Tripp Carpenter.

The gallery talk coincides with the fall 2010 exhibition of 20th Century Decorative Arts to be sold at Bonhams & Butterfields on October 5th. Featured highlights on preview will include a selection of lots related to both the elder and younger Carpenter as well as other major figures from the Studio Craft movement. Items will include a monumental signed and numbered black walnut Trestle Table with book matched top inlaid with holly snow geese detail by Arthur (Tripp) Espenet Carpenter III (est. $15,000-20,000); an inscribed Claro walnut and ivory New Moon Jewelry Box, 2007 by Arthur (Tripp) Espenet Carpenter III (est. $1,000-1,500); an inscribed walnut, rosewood and leather cabinet, 1971, by Arthur Espenet Carpenter II (est. $8,000-10,000); a 1964 walnut stool by Arthur Espenet Carpenter II (est. $2,000-3,000); a walnut and chrome coffee table, 2002, by Mira Nakashima (est. $7,000-9,000); a stoneware tureen by Otto and Vivika Heino (est. $800-1,200) and ceramic work by Paul Soldner, from the Kimono Series 84-41, 1984 (est. $2,500-3,500).

Additional items on offer in the October auction will include a Chotka cold painted bronze figural lamp titled “Coffee House,” circa 1900 (est. $12,000-18,000); a Tiffany Studios Favrile glass and patinated bronze Vine and Leaf lamp (est. $8,000-12,000) and an Orrefors engraved optical glass “Four Winds” vase designed by Vicke Lindstrand, 1934 (est. $3,000-5,000), among others.

The illustrated auction catalog for this sale will be available online for review and purchase at in the weeks preceding the sale.

“Education of a Woodsmith” gallery event is complimentary and open to the public. Reservations are requested. Light afternoon refreshments will be served. Please note that space is limited. For reservation inquiries, please contact Katie Nartonis at (323) 436-5445 or [email protected].

Event: “Education of a Woodsmith” with Arthur (Tripp) Espenet Carpenter III, October 2nd, 2:00pm, Los Angeles

Auction Preview: October 1-4, Los Angeles

Auction: October 5th, Los Angeles

Leave a comment

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