For Finnish designers and architects Aino and Alvar Aalto, designing useful buildings and furnishings through natural forms - to humanize the mechanical - was not only their life's work, but the manifest by which they chose to live their lives. With buildings all over Finland as well as the United States, France, Germany and Denmark just to name a few, the Aaltos' made their mark on many big cities internationally. Not only did they have the vision for architecture, but their expertise extended into interior design. In 1935, Artek was established by the architects together with a colleague Maire Gullichsen to mass-produce their wood furniture and glass designs. Today, many of these iconic forms remain in production. The Aaltos' bentwood furniture designs had a great influence on well-known American designers Charles and Ray Eames.
In 1939 the Museum of Modern Art invited Alvar to design the Finnish Pavilion at the World Fair, setting the cornerstone for his international celebrity. Only a few years before, as Alvar Aalto's fame spread in Europe, his comings and goings in the social circles of the design world brought him in touch with Alexander Calder. Considering each man's gift for innovative design and predilection towards the aesthetic, it was only natural, that a friendship blossomed between them. In 1937, Artek, organized the first Calder exhibition to be held in Finland, it included pieces of the artist's jewellery. At the 1939 world fair, the Finnish Pavilion designed received rave reviews. Maire Gullichsen wrote in a letter home 'a group was wearing Calder jewellery around neck and arms to the opening - we belonged to this group' - here the 'we' refers to Maire and Aino. The Aalto's travelled to the United States more frequently as Alvar took on projects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge Massachusetts, and even lectured there twice yearly as a visiting professor since 1940. During these stays in the United States, there were frequent visits to the Calders' home in Roxbury, Connecticut.
Much of Calder's jewellery was created for specific individuals as gifts or tokens of appreciation. Over the course of their friendship, Calder gifted several hand crafted pieces to Aino. The two rings, brooch, belt buckle and scarf ties offered within this sale are superb examples of Calder's most whimsical, bold and original designs. Each piece not only exhibits painstaking craftsmanship, but skillful execution with tightly bound brass wire, continuous loops and hammered silver. Each of the beautiful pieces of sculptural jewellery when worn, signify a broader inclusion within a neo-primitive society at which creativity is central to existence.
The following four lots pay tribute to a close friendship between visionary and creative individuals who through their passion for construction, made immeasurable contributions to the art and design world.
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF AINO AND ALVAR AALTO
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These works are registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application numbers A07363 and A18991 consecutively.