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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Acquisition: 20th Century Decorative Arts at Auction

Afternoon Course

Monday, October 18, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0171
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$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
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Top: FENDI's Roman Molds collection by Kueng Caputo (Photo: DesignBoom) Bottom: Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen 1948 (Photo: Knoll Internationa)

Save when you purchase the Lunchtime with a Curator fall series!

Join curator Elizabeth Lay, a regular lecturer on the topics of fashion, textiles, and American furniture, for an image-rich lunchtime lecture series focusing on decorative arts and design topics.

Session Information

Acquisition: 20th Century Decorative Arts at Auction

After delving into the culture of collecting and how to identify authentic modern designs from copies, get ready to put your new knowledge into action with a look at auctions. Lay welcomes Richard Wright, CEO of one of the most innovative auction houses specializing in modern and contemporary art and design, as he shares some true insider’s advice. He discusses his passion for modern design, how he made his way into the auction business, and how he conceived the Wright auction house in Chicago, which opened in 2000. From there he covers how the shift in the archetype of collecting has changed the marketplace for objects, and the impact of digital auctions on a global audience.

He also considers the role of the auction house from both the buyer’s and seller’s perspectives. How do you gauge the rhythm of an auction, and what are the best strategies for bidding? Join Wright and Lay for the answers to these and more questions.

Wright has more than 30 years of experience in handling and documenting 20th-century works and has published several books and monographs and more than 100 auction catalogs on the subject.

Additional Sessions

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.