Christie's Auction Catalog - 112707 | Purchased 041213
We had often thought, based on timing and photos, that the Futuro exhibited at MUDAM and subsequently sold at Christies was likely the one now located in Limni, Corfu
but we could not be certain. In an email we received this week the Futuro's owner, Dakis Joannou, confirmed that this was the case.
Original Information 041213
On 112707 world famous auction house Christie's
held an auction in Paris (Christie's Auction #5483) entitled Arts Décoratifs Du XXème Siècle Et Design. Lot 391 of this auction was a Futuro House. This is the Christie's Catalog for that auction.
Much of the history of the Futuro House can be unclear and at times what information there is can be confusing or even contradictory. When determining what is or is not fact one is often left basing an opinion on the credibility of the source of that information. The Christie's Catalog provides some history of the unit that was auctioned and it seems to us that as a premiere international auction house it is almost certain that whatever information they provided was fact.
So, what does the catalog tell us? Christie's recounts that the Futuro that was auctioned was one of the few that was produced directly by Polykem, executed under Belgian-Benelux license. There are several references to there being three Futuros in Belgium (see the Tildonk Futuro
page for more details) in the early 70's and most suggest they were initially together at a single location; you can find a Press Photo of the three Futuro's here
and there is also a very similar photo in the April 2001 issue of Casa Brutus Magazine
In addition Christie's tells us that this Futuro House was the one exhibited in as part of a 2007 exhibition at the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art (known as MUDAM) in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. The exhibition was titled "Tomorrow Now - When Design Meets Science Fiction
" and it ran from 052507 to 092407.
The Futuro was listed for 150,000-200,000; at the auction it did not quite get into that range but it did sell for a rather impressive 140,000. The buyer and the eventual destination for the Futuro remains unknown, at least to us. Interestingly the Christie's webpage
that lists the results of the auction does not include all of the lots and Lot 391, the Futuro House, is one of the ones that is not listed.
Of course having said that the catalog provides us with some factual information it also adds to the "mystery". We had previously though that the Futuro displayed at the MUDAM exhibition
was the Belgian Futuro
owned by Philemon Vanlangendonck and there is evidence to support that theory - see page 4 of this file
for that to be the case it would also have to be the one sold at auction in 2007 yet Philemon Vanlangendonck reportedly continued to own his Futuro long after 2007 and in fact still owns it as far as we are aware (based on emails received at the end of 2012).
So we are left with a mystery to ponder; perhaps Philemon Vanlangendonck owned two Futuro's, perhaps the one displayed at MUDAM was not actually the one owned by Philemon Vanlangendonck, perhaps the information indicating Philemon Vanlangendonck still owns a Futuro was in error? In the end maybe it is the mystery and the search for the "true story" that actually fuels our fascination with the Futuro House. Whatever the truth this catalog is a great addition to our collection and "another piece of the puzzle".
The catalog features some great photos of the Futuro on display at MUDAM and it also features some great photos of Futuro #002
on display at the Finnfocus-Export Fair
in London in 1968.
"Plastic As Plastic" Catalog - 1968 | Purchased 081916
This is the catalog for the exhibition "Plastic As Plastic
" which ran from 112368 through 011269 at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now the Museum of Arts and Design
) in New York City
On page 3 of the catalog there is a photo of Futuro #000
in Turenki (which has a rather odd yellow tint to it). In the brief caption that accompanies the photo the structure is actually referred to as the "Futuro Weekend House".
Un Éte Au Havre Guide Book - 2018 | Received 120719
In 2017 the French city of Le Havre
hosted "Un Éte Au Havre" (or "A Summer In Le Havre") during which various art works and installations were added around the city apparently to increase tourism.
The event was repeated in 2018 and now appears to have been added to the cities calendar as an annual event.
During the 2018 event Craig Barnes' UK Futuro
was transported to Le Havre and installed in Les Jardins Suspendus
(The Hanging Gardens).
This is the guide book for Un Éte Au Havre, 2018; the Futuro features on the cover and then on pages 7 and 16-17. Fellow Futuro collector and enthusiast Yves Buysse sent us this copy for our collection; many thanks Yves.
Quittenbaum Auction Catalog - 030614 | Purchased 052814
On 060314 German art auction house Quittenbaum
auctioned an original Futuro House Chair/Bed Unit
. The unit was Lot #38
in Quittenbaum Auction 115A "Scandinavian Design
" and was listed with a guide price of €3,000-4,000. This is the printed catalog for the auction.
We considered putting in a bid on the unit; while we dream of owning our own Futuro realistically we are unlikely to ever be in a position to realize that dream. More realistically we are planning at some point to turn one room in our house into a sort of "Futuro Exhibit" and we figured the Chair/Bed unit would be a cool "center piece." Even at the low end of the estimate we would have been stretching it and in the end we decided not to bid and it turned out the low end of the estimate would not have made it anyway; the unit sold for €4,500.
Wright Auction Catalog - 060209 | Purchased 020114
High end Chicago based auction house Wright
held an auction titled "Important Design
" on 060209. Lot 138
of this auction was a Futuro House. The Futuro House auctioned was located in Bailey, Colorado
. The auction was won by Mark Haddawy and the Futuro was moved to its current location in Los Angeles, CA
This print copy of the catalog for the auction features a short article on the Futuro House and a single photograph (not of the unit actually auctioned).
Wright Auction Catalog - 120504 | Purchased 052014
On 120504 Chicago based auction house Wright
held an auction titled "Modernist 20th Century
"; Lot 369
of the auction featured an architectural model of the Futuro House and an extensive archive with original tear sheets, photographs, floor plans, articles and a book about the Futuro project. This item is the printed catalog for the auction.
The model was constructed according to the Canadian floor plan of the Futuro House and the additional materials were from Futuro Fiberglass Homes Ltd, the Canadian licensee of the Futuro House. Pre-auction estimates for Lot 369 were $3,000 to $4,000; the realized price was $7,800.
A little more information including links to a personal recollection of the auction from Richard Pisani, owner of the Danvers Futuro
, and a couple of photographs of the model can be found here
Espoo Guide: Experience Espoo 2015 | Received 062615
This guide book, "Espoo Guide: Experience Espoo 2015", includes the WeeGee Exhibition Center
, home to the faithfully restored Futuro #001
(originally located in Hirvensalmi
) on page 22 in a section titled "Cultural Experiences". There is a single exterior photo of the Futuro.
FinnFocus, London Guide Book - 1968 | Purchased 040417
, now located in Matsalu, Estonia, was exhibited as a part of the Finnfocus-Export Fair
in 1968 and there became the first Futuro to be exhibited to a "mass audience."
It was only after this exhibition that the Futuro actually got the name Futuro.
The exhibition was held aboard the MS Finnpartner which was moored on the Thames
close to Tower Bridge
for the event. The Futuro was exhibited on an upper deck.
This guide book for the exhibition includes introductions to the exhibition by several Finish and English politicians, deck plans showing where exhibits were located, a list of exhibitors and what they were exhibiting and several pages of ads. There are no photos of the Futuro but it is mentioned on one of the deck plans and in the exhibitor listing for Oy Polykem Ab.
Helsinki Region Museums Guide ... | Purchased 070814
This is a 2014/15 Guide Book for museums in the Helsinki region with text in several languages. The WeeGee Exhibition Center
is listed on page 44 and illustrated with a photo of the Futuro exhibit. We picked this up sometime during our July 2014 trip to Finland though frankly we do not recall where.
IKA Guide Book - 1971 | Purchased 032619
The Internationale Kunststoffhaus Ausstellung der Welt
or IKA opened 080171 on a site just outside the German town of Lüdenscheid
. Several different structures were on display at the event including a Futuro House. This Guide Book was sold at the exhibition. More detailed information about this exhibition can be found here