Fans of mid-century design will be interested to see a rather stunning and highly significant screen going up for auction on eBay. The screen was designed by Harry Bertoia, one of the most respected names to emerge from the mid-century architectural and design era.
This was the screen/sculpture that was located in the lobby of the restaurant on the 38th floor of the Marine Midland Bank – presently known as One Seneca Tower. The building was/is filled with a number of significant design art marvels, which will most likely be scooped up by out of town/country buyers. From eBay:
Marine Midland Bank, Buffalo, NY (acquired directly from the artist and sold: Sotheby’s, New York, November 10, 2010, lot 11 – see BRO article)
Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman
This screen represents a stylistic continuation of Bertoia’s work in the 1950s and early 1960s, and in particular his collaborations with the architect Gordon Bunshaft at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. It bears a close resemblance to Bertoia’s famed mezzanine screen commissioned by Bunshaft in 1954 for one of his modernist masterworks, SOM’s Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Building in New York. Bunshaft, who was born in Buffalo in 1909, had a long architectural relationship with his hometown, and in 1961 he designed an addition to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. From 1969-1971, SOM designed Buffalo’s tallest skyscraper, the 40-story One Marine Midland Center, which served as headquarters for Marine Midland Bank. The present screen was mounted as a sculpture in the lobby outside the restaurant on the 38th floor. While the exact details of the commission are unknown, it would appear to be the final chapter in the Bunshaft-Bertoia collaboration in Buffalo.
Screen from One Marine Midland Center, Buffalo, New York
Estimate $250,000 – $350,000 USD (starting bid $200K)
68 1/2 x 70 1/4 x 11 1/8 inches
Brass and copper