View full screen - View 1 of Lot 476. "Polar Bear" Bench.
476

Judy Kensley McKie

"Polar Bear" Bench

Property from the Sharon Mills Estate, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Judy Kensley McKie

Judy Kensley McKie

"Polar Bear" Bench

"Polar Bear" Bench

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Property from the Sharon Mills Estate, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Judy Kensley McKie

"Polar Bear" Bench


1997

number 3 from an edition of 6

Vermont Danby marble

monogrammed ©JKM, dated 1997 and numbered 3/6

72⅝ x 20½ x 20 in. (184.5 x 52.1 x 50.8 cm)

Overall in excellent condition. When viewed firsthand, the marble displays variegated hues and veining that are inherent to the stone selection and enhance the naturalistic form. The marble presents with some extremely minor abrasions and light surface soiling particularly concentrated to the recessed contours of the design. The underside of the bench presents with more pronounced soiling consistent with outdoor installation and not visible when the piece is installed. An example of the model is in the collections of the Toledo Museum of Art. 


In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Pritam & Eames, East Hampton, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2017
Virginia T. Boyd, Contemporary Studio Case Furniture: The Inside Story, Madison, 2002, p. 14, fig. 2
Judy Kensley McKie: Cast of Characters, exh. cat., Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, 2018, n.p. (for the model in the collections of the Toledo Art Museum)
Self-taught in the art of furniture making, Judy Kensley McKie imagined her first zoomorphic design in the 1970s and became an acclaimed figure in the American studio craft movement. Her whimsical oeuvre is inspired by the animal kingdom; wood, bronze and stone are shaped into horses, monkeys, cats and more, blurring the distinction between sculpture and functional object. For the present bench, McKie carved the elongated, muscular body of a polar bear from a slab of Vermont Danby marble. The white color of the stone with light gray veining immediately mimics the bear's snowy fur, while its cold, smooth finish evokes an Arctic habitat. McKie transforms the apex predator into a friendly companion with the addition of small circular eyes and a toothy grin. Such bas-relief details are characteristic of McKie's work and reflective of her playful approach: “the more carving there is, the happier I am.” The “Polar Bear” bench, an example of which is in the collections of the Toledo Museum of Art, presents an opportunity to acquire an exquisite masterwork by the endlessly creative female designer.