The Luis Barragán Room Divider that sold for a six-figure at TEFAF 2016 UNSOLVED MYSTERY

During the recent TEFAF 2016 in Maastricht, an Art fair which on their Preview Day had over 10,000 international private collectors, curators and representatives from the world’s leading museums and public institutions visiting its premises. One of the highlights of the fair was that the Parisian gallery Downtown sold an important piece of furniture from their display dedicated to Luis Barragán. The work is a long pinewood bookcase dated 1951 that also acts as a room divider and according to the gallery, the piece was part of a commission for Casa Pedregal in Mexico City. Apparently, it sold to a private collector for a six-figure sum.

I wonder where this large bookcase/room divider was located in the Casa Prieto López when finished by Luis Barragán in 1951; as long as I have not been able to find this big piece of furniture in any of the different areas (bedrooms, library, kitchen, or anywhere else) of the house in my archives until its sudden use as room divider well passed the 1980’s.

I have put together a chronological series of pictures of Casa Prieto´s interior decoration since 1951 until today on the living room and opposite dining room area, as you can see below:

Living room Casa Prieto (1951)

Casa Prieto living room area in 1951 with no room divider or folding screen on the right corner.

Living room Casa Prieto (1954)

In 1954 the living room area at Casa Prieto now shows a folding screen to the right, next to the chimney.

Casa Estudio Luis Barragán

Similar to the “paravent” at Casa Prieto, Luis Barragán used folding screens at his own home, the Luis Barragán Casa Estudio in Mexico City´s Tacubaya neighborhood.

Casa Prieto dining room (opposite to the living room) in 1970

In 1970 we still have the same screen – now seen from the dining room, opposite the living room.

In 1989 the folding screen is still in the Casa Prieto, separating both, the living room from the dining area.

Casa Prieto dining room (2009)

In 2009, the same dining room at Casa Prieto is now furnished with a large wooden room divider.

Casa Prieto living room (2009)

Same pinewood room divider/bookcase seen from the opposite side, the living room at Casa Prieto.

Casa Prieto López (2012)

Complete view of the room divider in question before the sale of Casa Prieto López in 2014 to Mexican businessman César Cervantes, who completed a major renovation project of the house in order to bring it back to the original Luis Barragán state, now called Casa Pedregal.

Casa Pedregal (2014)

Casa Pedregal (formerly Casa Prieto López) in 2014. Completely new look after the extensive renovation program that its new owner Cesár Cervantes completed by the fall of 2014.

Casa Pedregal refurbished dining room (2015)

Casa Pedregal in 2015. View of the refurbished dining room now after 64 years, again with no folding screen and/or room divider, bringing it back to its original 1951 state.

The same room divider at TEFAF 2016

The same room divider/bookcase from Casa Prieto was now presented by Parisian gallery Downtown at TEFAF 2016, as part of a commission for Casa Pedregal, Mexico City, dated 1951.

UNSOLVED MYSTERY: if you have any picture to document the whereabouts of this big pine piece of furniture before the 1980’s it will be highly appreciated since the furniture of this house from 1951 until well passed the 1970’s was made of “sabino”  wood.

© Karin Goyer and Don S. Shoemaker Furniture, 2010-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this website’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karin Goyer and Don S. Shoemaker Furniture with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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