Hope Makler’s collection of Calder jewelry made some astonishing numbers at Sotheby’s day sale yesterday. 18 lots were sold for a total of $8,046,500. Some of the necklaces were expected to sell for high six-figure sums but nothing like what eventually took place. Here’s a brief description of the relationship between the Maklers and the artists who contributed to their gallery:
Klaus Perls was the Maklers’ first dealer acquaintance and they became the exclusive outlet in Philadelphia for artists of the Perls Galleries, chief among them, Alexander Calder whose family heritage was deeply embedded in Philadelphia cultural history. For Hope, relationships with artists added to the richness of life. “There was a kindness among the giants for me and for Paul that was simply extraordinary. There were personal kindnesses from such people as Jacques Lipchitz, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder, …who went far beyond the bounds of artist/dealer relationships and were just wonderful human beings. They all came to our parties.” (Ibid) Calder’s most notable attendance at the Makler Gallery coincided with the Alexander Calder Festival in Philadelphia in October 1976. His grandfather’s statue of William Penn topped City Hall, and Calder’s own commission of a monumental mobile White Cascade at the Federal Reserve Bank was being dedicated at this time.