Toomey & Co. to offer 17 Oak Park Art League paintings in ‘Interiors’ auction on May 6

Art Daily
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Linen Fold desk lamp: octagonal shade on a Graduate base, #558. Estimate $3,000-5,000.
Linen Fold desk lamp: octagonal shade on a Graduate base, #558. Estimate $3,000-5,000.

OAK PARK, IL.- During the Interiors auction on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Toomey & Co. Auctioneers will offer over 600 lots of fine and decorative artwork, sculpture, early 20th century and modern furniture, art pottery, lighting, silver, jewelry, and more by famous names plus a selection of 17 paintings deaccessioned from the Oak Park Art League.

While similar to Toomey & Co.’s signature quarterly Art & Design auction, material in the biannual Interiors sale is often available at more affordable price points. This allows collectors and decorators a greater opportunity to acquire a variety of art and design objects. Some of the notable artists and makers featured in Interiors on May 6 are: Marc Chagall, Dale Nichols, Robert Rauschenberg, Margaret Burroughs, Tiffany Studios, Gustav Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright, Georg Jensen, Edward Wormley, Hans Wegner, and Michael & Frances Higgins.

Interiors Auction Details and Consignments
On Wednesday, May 6, the Interiors auction will start at 10:00 a.m. CDT at Toomey & Co. Auctioneers, 818 North Boulevard, Oak Park, Illinois. In light of COVID-19, the sale will not be open to the public and there will be no in-person preview, but individual preview appointments may be requested as well as additional condition information and photos to enhance virtual preview by emailing [email protected]

Early registration for Interiors on May 6 is strongly recommended. The full catalog is currently online at toomeyco.com. In addition to placing absentee bids directly with Toomey & Co., clients may bid online via two real-time platforms, LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable.

Consignments are now invited for upcoming auctions. Photographs of items may be submitted for estimates to [email protected] To learn about past or future sales, please visit toomeyco.com.

Auctioning Works to Support the Oak Park Art League
To begin the Interiors sale on May 6, a group of 17 paintings will be up for bid from the Collection of the Oak Park Art League (OPAL), which was founded in 1921 by artist Carl Krafft — whose two beautifully framed landscapes will start the sale (Lots 1 & 2). All of these works were previously donated by OPAL artist members. For nearly a century, OPAL has been enriching Chicago’s cultural landscape with community art education, lectures, and exhibits.

Recently, OPAL consulted with Toomey & Co.’s Fine Art Senior Specialists Erin Marcell and Aron Packer to deaccession the works in the sale. OPAL’s Executive Director Jill Kramer Goldstein said, “Given that the art originated here in the Oak Park area, by local artists, it was important for us to continue OPAL’s practice of supporting local people and businesses.”

On the rationale for auctioning OPAL’s paintings, Goldstein explained, “Our building was originally constructed as a carriage house over 100 years ago. And with that comes the limited space and interior environment to adequately store and preserve the historic work.” Although Goldstein is fond of many paintings on offer, especially Arthur Coplin’s Indiana Dunes landscape (Lot 8), she noted that OPAL “needed to make the hard choice between holding on to what we could not appropriately maintain or letting go of the work so that it could be preserved and appreciated for future generations.”

Goldstein indicated that proceeds from the Interiors sale will help OPAL with “program expansion and scholarship funding.” In particular, there are plans for “a studio program for high school students” along with “additional open drawing sessions,” more “community outreach partnerships,” and building improvements, including “ADA accessibility for the first-floor restroom.” OPAL’s President of the Board Kim Robinson stressed that as the center approaches its centennial celebration in April 2021, a “commitment to social justice will be paramount in our programming and exhibitions.”

“Since Carl Krafft first gathered a group of art lovers in his parlor 99 years ago,” Goldstein said, “the Oak Park Art League has been a place to discuss, learn, teach, create, socialize, appreciate art, and engage with the wider public. Our members are students to professionals and there is a long history of OPAL supporting artists as they advance their artistic journey.”