Neutra @ Auction

Richard Neutra’s Kauffman House, Palm Springs, Calif. Tim Street-Porter/Esto

One of architect Richard Neutra’s mid-century masterpieces is to be auctioned next May by Sotheby’s. The Kauffman House of 1946 is in Palm Springs, Calif., and was once a desert oasis for Edgar J. Kauffman Sr., of Pittsburgh, who also commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. After years of neglect, and a stint as Barry Manilow’s abode, the Kauffman House was lovingly restored by Brent Harris and Beth Edwards Harris, a California couple. Now they are getting divorced and the house is expected to fetch between $15 and $25 million. A pittance compared to the ridiculous prices paid for Warhol’s, Van Gogh’s, and other master painters, but a neat sum, nonetheless. Some preservationists prefer the house be taken over by a public institution to increase access while others contend the inflated price lends legitimacy and ensures its well being.

Edward Wyatt. Auction of Modernist Landmark Raises Concern. New York Times. October 30, 2007.

Posted by: Ian M.


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