October 25, 1998
In collaboration with Santa Monica Auctions, LAMA held the 20th Century Decorative Arts, Fine Art & Modern Design Auction on October 25, 1998 at the I.M. Chait Gallery in Beverly Hills. It featured 424 lots from Mid-Century Modern artists and designers, including custom design elements from Frank Gehry’s Rebecca’s Restaurant and important photographs taken by Man Ray from the 1930s, as well as a Man Ray chess set and drawings.
Opened in 1983 during a highly productive period in Frank Gehry’s career, Rebecca’s Restaurant in Venice Beach was conceived as a 160-seat Mexican restaurant. Gehry intended for the restaurant to be “haute cuisine,” but he wanted “the room to have the feeling so that when you walk in you’ll imagine the sounds of mariachis.” It was full of aquatic themed sculptures and constructions, including a giant octopus chandelier, a pair of metal crocodiles, and a pair of fish lamps. All of these items, including Ed Moses glass windows and a Peter Alexander mural, were offered during this auction.
Additionally, LAMA and Santa Monica Auctions offered impressive furniture, lighting, fine art, photographs, sculpture, ceramics, and design. Top offerings included an R.M. Schindler “Unit” chair from the Van Patten House in Los Angeles (Lot 173 est. $12,000 – 14,000), a DePas, D’Urbino & Lomazzi “Joe” chair prototype for Poltronova (Lot 189 est. $8,000 – 10,000), a Charles and Ray Eames “FSW” screen (Lot 195 est. $7,000 – 9,000), the revolving doors from the famed Beverly Hills eatery Brown Derby (Lot 207 est. $10,000 – 12,000), a rare Richard Neutra “Camel” table (Lot 269 est. $6,000 – 8,000), and the John McCracken painting Mandala III (Lot 409 est. $10,000 – 15,000).