Oscar-Winning Director Jonathan Demme’s Art Collection headed to Auction March 19 The folk and self-taught art collections of Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme and his friend and past collaborator, Ford Wheeler will be auctioned in Philadelphia
A label on verso indicates prior ownership by Epstein/Powell American Primitives. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000
Ford Wheeler, who says he was “born with the design gene,” has collected whimsical objects throughout his life and previously operated Craft Caravan, a wildly popular SoHo shop that specialized in African and Asian art and furniture. Wheeler has served as production designer and set decorator for dozens of films, several of which were directed by Demme, including Philadelphia. In a 2011 profile of Wheeler that ran in The New York Times, Demme remarked of his friend and collaborator: “[Ford] reads the script, makes a little movie in his head and feeds the look. What Ford saw, I wanted to see.”
One of the most treasured artworks in Wheeler’s personal collection is an important Howard Finster (American, 1916-2001) sculpture titled Castle #2240. Standing 80 inches high, the four-part structure is constructed of painted wood with mirrors and is both artist-signed and numbered. Its auction estimate is $20,000-$30,000.
“A common thread that connects the Demme and Wheeler collections is the heartfelt embrace of artists and traditions outside of the ‘mainstream’ – eloquent proof that there is no such thing as the ‘art world,’ only worlds of art,” Jevremovic said. “Material Culture is honored and grateful for the opportunity to bring these collections to market and to help raise public awareness of some of the world's great self-taught and folk artists.”
All forms of bidding will be available for the Sunday March 19, 2017 auction. Start time: 11 a.m. Eastern.
For information on any item in the sale, call 215-438-4700; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bid absentee or live online at LiveAuctioneers.com.
Preview: March 4-18 from 11-5. Opening reception: Saturday, March 4, 1-4 p.m. A pre-auction exhibition party with live music will take place on Saturday, March 18 from 7-11 p.m., with special guests Jonathan Demme and Ford Wheeler. RSVP required – email email@example.com.
Hector Hyppolite (Haitian/St. Marc, 1894-1948), Bosou Toi Conne, oil-on-board, 19.75 x 27.25 inches, Jonathan Demme collection. Est. $30,000-$50,000 Image courtesy of Material Culture