Raymond Loewy sketches and California designs hit the block at Bonhams & Butterfields

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No, it’s not a production sketch of the Jetsons’ kitchen.

This late 1960s illustration, above, by Raymond Loewy, often referred to as ‘the father of industrial design,’ is one of three studies for the interior of the NASA Saturn Five Space Station. Along with two other sketches, it will be auctioned off at Bonhams & Butterfields’ 20th Century Decorative Arts sale in Los Angeles on April 20. The estimated price for the trio of drawings by the man who designed the Sears Coldspot refrigerator and the Greyhound bus is $900 to $1,200.

The auction features 10 Loewy designs and a 1975 Avanti II Coupe automobile, a reissue of the sleek sports car that Loewy designed in Palm Springs in 1961. Other California designers and craftsmen represented in the sale include the late ceramist Otto Heino, glass maker Glenn Lukens and studio furniture makers Sam Maloof and John Nyquist.


An evening auction session on the same day focuses on California and Western painting and sculpture. Among the highlights of that sale: Two watercolors by Millard Sheets and this striking 1936 watercolor of Venice Beach, pictured at right, by Georges Schreiber, which measures 20 inches by 30 inches and is expected to fetch $6,000 to $8,000. Design fans need not attend or participate in the auction to see these works. All of them will be on display during a preview that is free and open to the public this Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at Bonhams & Butterfields, 7601 W. Sunset Blvd.; (323) 850-7500.

-- David A. Keeps

Photo credits: Bonhams & Butterfields