On March 16th Wright presents John Prip: American Metalsmith, an auction celebrating the life and work of one of the country’s most innovative workers in metal. Comprised of more than 100 works from the artist’s own collection, this sale features pieces made between the 1950s and the 1990s and ranges from flatware studies to sculpture and jewelry. From well-known designs for Reed & Barton to one-of-a-kind functional and decorative objects, the works in this sale exhibit technical precision, innovation and a mastery of material.
John Prip never constructs forms merely to be different, they evolve from observation, thought, experimentation and discovery. This gives to his work a unique personal and timeless quality.
Collages of flatware
John Axel Prip 1922–2009
John Axel Prip was a silversmith that redefined the medium of both handcrafted and machine-fabricated metalworks. Born in New York in 1922, Prip moved with his Danish father and American mother to Denmark at the age of 10, where his father opened a silversmithing factory. As a teenager, Prip apprenticed at his father’s business. It was here that Prip learned the traditional and technical craft of his medium.
Prip returned to the United States in 1948. He accepted a job as a teacher at the School for the American Craftsman (now known as the School for American Crafts), which was a newly opened school in Alfred, New York dedicated to training highly skilled craftspeople. While teaching, Prip and fellow metalsmith Ronald Pearson, woodworker Tage Frid, and Bauhaus ceramist Frans Wildenhain founded a new gallery called Shop One to display their groundbreaking works of craft.
Studies for Teapots
Soft organic forms can coexist with hard-edged ones.
To commemorate this extraordinary auction, Wright has
published a special catalog featuring a selection of works.
John Prip: American Metalsmith
For more information about
this sale, please contact:
312 563 0020
Auction / Chicago
16 March 2017
12 pm central
Preview / Chicago