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Maquette for Sculpture Screen at Lambert-St. Louis Airport Terminal

Artist
Harry Bertoia, American (born Italy), 1915–1978
Date
1954–55
Material
Metal and paint on metal
Made in
Bally, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Classification
Metalwork, models & maquettes
Current Location
On View, Gallery 130
Dimensions
8 x 48 x 2 1/4 in. (20.3 x 121.9 x 5.7 cm)
Credit Line
Funds given by Mrs. Charles W. Lorenz, the E. Reuben and Gladys Flora Grant Charitable Trust, and the Gary Wolff Family
Rights
© (year) Estate of Harry Bertoia / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Object Number
39:2001
NOTES
This scale model is of a sculpture that was designed by Harry Bertoia for the Lambert-St. Louis Air Terminal when it opened in 1956. The 48-foot-long screen delineated the space between the main lobby and the Kitty Hawk dining room. Vividly colored panels suspended within the screen's framework appeared to flutter as people walked by, creating a delightful sense of rhythm and movement. On one side the panels were painted in oranges, reds, and yellows; the other side had cooler reds, blues, and fuschias. The screen was removed from the terminal sometime between 1965 and 1967 when the airport expanded. This maquette is the only surviving document of both the sculpture and the original paint scheme.
c.1954 - c.1955
Harry Bertoia, Bally, PA, USA [1]

c.1955 - mid-1990s
Woodward Garber (died mid-1990s), Glendale, OH, acquired from artist [2]

mid-1990s - 2000
Linda Gipson, Houston, TX, by inheritance from Woodward Garber [3]

2000 - 2001
Gansevoort Gallery, New York, NY, purchased from Linda Gipson through Wright Auction House (David Lucenhoff) [4]

2001 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Gansevoort Gallery [5]


Notes:
[1] Harry Bertoia kept working models for the airport sculpture commission [39:2001 is one of several surviving models] in his studio until the architect who commissioned the project selected a prototype and production of the Lambert-St. Louis screen began in 1954 [per conversation between Museum research assistant Pam Stewart and Val Bertoia, Harry Bertoia's son, February 23, 2001].

[2] Woodward Garber was a colleague and friend of Bertoia [per conversation between Museum curator Cara McCarty, and Mary Thorp, Bertoia scholar, December 2000; also Pam Stewart and Hubbard Garber, son of Woodward Garber, February 21, 2001]. Neither the Bertoia or Garber family can recall whether the maquette was given by or purchased from the artist [per conversation of Pam Stewart, and Val Bertoia, Harry Bertoia's son, February 23, 2001]. A photograph dated c.1958 accompanying a letter dated April 1, 2001, from Elizabeth Garber Baldwin, daugher of Woodward Garber, shows the object displayed in the Garber home in Ohio [letter and photograph, SLAM document files]. Mrs. Jo Garber, Woodward Garber's wife, remembers the maquette being in their home early in the 1950s; it was also displayed in their second home, into which the family moved in 1956 or 1957 [per conversation between Pam Stewart and Jo Garber, February 21, 2001].

[3] Linda Gipson, Woodward Garber's daughter, received the maquette in the mid-1990s, at the time of her father's death [per conversation between Pam Stewart and Hubbard Garber, February 21, 2001].

[4] See the auction catalogue ["who what where when wright," Wright Auction House, Chicago, IL, October 1, 2000, lot no. 348]. The object was not sold. David Lucenhoff of Wright Auction House approached Linda Gipson about selling the object, having learned of it when he assisted Woodward Garber in cataloguing and appraising Garber's art collection in the early 1990s [per conversation between Pam Stewart and Linda Gipson, February 22, 2001; also conversation between Pam Stewart and David Lucenhoff, February 23, 2001]. Apparently David Lucenhoff acted as an agent to sell the object while it was in the possession of Gipson; Wright Auction House did not at any time own the object. David Lucenhoff sold the object to Gansevoort Gallery after the October auction did not result in a sale [per conversation between Pam Stewart and David Lucenhoff, February 23, 2001].

[5] Invoice dated March 8, 2001 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, May 24, 2001.
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