Presenting the Pfannebecker Collection

Selections from the Robert L. Pfannebecker Collection

A single-owner collection featuring an impressive range of glasswork, jewelry and sculpture. 

10/28/2022     Latest News, News and Film, 20th Century and Contemporary Design



"Collectors are risk takers."
-Bob Pfannebecker 



This fall, Freeman’s will present Modern and Contemporary Craft: Selections from the Robert L. Pfannebecker Collection, over two hundred lots of American craft, amassed by the renowned collector and attorney, Robert “Bob” Pfannebecker. A lifelong supporter of artists working in a variety of media, Pfannebecker was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and began collecting in the 1960s under the guidance of artist and gallery owner, Don Wright. Wright’s influence looms large. He designed Pfannebecker’s A-frame home along a hillside; a site which grew to include three additional buildings, functioning as galleries.  Over the years, Bob’s collection grew to include thousands of objects in ceramic, glass, fiber, wood, metal, and synthetic materials.
pfannebecker collection
 Tom Lacagnina, Side Table
Bob associated himself with many artists of the most pedigreed teaching institutions in the country; including Alfred University, Cranbrook Academy of Art, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Rhode Island School of Design, and others. Perhaps related to his early interest in chemistry, Pfannebecker was somewhat unique among collectors of his generation, passionate about that unique alchemy between an artist and their medium and the artwork that results.  Works in the collection have a strong narrative quality and an element of surprise and wonder; qualities of the works Bob was drawn to, over the merely beautiful. 
Dale Chihuly, Macchia Grouping
Bob befriended many artists whose work he also collected including Patti Warashina, Wayne Higby, Dominic DiMare, Eleanor Moty, Gerhardt Knodel, Dale Chihuly, and others.  By the 1980s, he had built one of the largest and most reputable collections of contemporary craft in the country.  Important works from the Pfannebecker Collection have previously been acquired by over sixteen museums and private collections across the country.
 Olaf Skoogfors, Rare and Important Necklace
Works to be presented this fall at Freeman’s include jewelry and enamelwork by Eleanor Moty, Helen Shirk, and William Harper; ceramics by Fred Bauer, Wayne Higby, Jack Earl, SunKoo Yuh, Betty Woodman, John Gill, Andrea Gill, and Lucian Pompili; furniture by Tom Lacagnina and John Cederquist; glass by Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey, and Mary Ann “Toots” Zynsky; fiber art by Helen Bitar and Warren Seelig; and a dazzling variety of others.
In keeping with his passionate commitment to the artists, proceeds from the sale will fund scholarships for artists of merit and need.


View the rest of our November 18 Modern and Contemporary Craft:
Selections from the Robert L. Pfannebecker Collection



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