L.A. Modernism Show to Feature Masterpiece Wood Sculpture Discovered After Forty Years

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Pamela Weir-Quiton's first architectural commission, "The Family" has been found in a salvage warehouse in Santa Ana. Rescued by Los Angeles art dealer, Dennis Boses, who buys and sells unusual and fun artifacts, "The Family" will be the featured exhibit at the L.A. Modernism Show May 1 - 3 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

Pamela and The Family

This is functional wood sculpture at its best!

Iconic woodworker of the seventies, Pamela Weir-Quiton, is known for her life-size doll and animal functional wood sculptures. Her first architectural commission, "The Family" was recently found after forty years and will be featured at the Los Angeles Modernism Show & Sale May 1 - 3 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

Rescued by Los Angeles art dealer, Dennis Boses of, Off The Wall Inc., who buys and sells unusual artifacts, The Family was originally installed in the lobby of the Altadena Federal Savings & Loan in 1969. It was created to be an art piece and a place for children to play while parents took care of their banking. The unveiling was a cultural event. "It's a masterpiece" Boses says excitedly of his amazing find.

Meticulously made of exotic woods, the monumental piece features a father, mother, daughter and their dog. The father stands eight feet tall, wearing a double breasted suit with a pin striped shirt and tie with a pocket handkerchief. The seated mother is dressed in a turtle neck top and full skirt that forms a right angle bench for sitting. There's a little girl for children to relate to and a reclining dog whose head pivots.

"This is functional wood sculpture at its best!" says Pamela, with the emphasis on fun.

After The Family, Pamela alternated between architectural and private commissions. Welton Becket and Associates commissioned her to create The Shoe Zoo, a collection of thirteen animal sculptures to be hung on the wall of the Orbach's children's shoe department. Later, Victor Gruen Architects, Rudi Baumfeld and Marion Sampler, enlisted Pamela to create thirteen foot tall wooden caryatids that seemed to be holding up the ceiling of the Joseph Magnin Store in San Diego. Pamela then went on to work with Frank Gehry to create thirty-six foot tall cardboard tube dolls for the Hollywood Bowl.

Early on, Eudorah Moore, curator of the California Design Shows, took an interest in Pamela who went on to become the poster girl for the California Design X Exhibition, which launched her career. Pamela's sculptures became instantly recognizable. Her wooden dolls and animals were loved by the public and the press, and a rocking horse was even featured on an Olivia Newton John album cover. Compared to sculptor, Marisol, by Home Furnishings Daily, Pamela became a Los Angeles media darling of the 1970's, appearing on the cover of the L.A. Times Home Magazine, featured in House Beautiful, profiled in the New York Times and honored by Mademoiselle Magazine.

Currently, Pamela's work is represented by Moderne Gallery, Philadelphia where premiere George Nakashima dealer Bob Aibel says, "Pamela is one of the few female wood artists to emerge from the mid 20th century studio crafts movement."

In Los Angeles, Pamela is represented by Gerard O'Brien's, Reform Gallery, which focuses on California Design. Recently Gerard sold Pamela's iconic "Georgie Girl" to actress, Kirsten Dunst, who featured Pamela and her sculptures in Lula Magazine in 2007

"It all started with The Family," Pamela recalls fondly.

Known as "That Girl Woodworker," Pamela was twenty five when architect, Charles Kratka, asked her to create "The Family" for the lobby of Altadena Federal Savings & Loan.

Pamela Weir-Quiton still works in her L.A. studio and has been married to Zen Illustrator, Gregory Weir-Quiton for over thirty five years. Their lives are committed to supporting each other and their creative pursuits.

"The Family" will be appearing at the L.A. Modernism Show May 1 - 3 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Don't miss this rare opportunity to see this exciting piece that started it all.

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