40 Years of Lost City Arts

Jim Elkind, founder Lost City Arts—of one of the most influential design galleries in New York City—has design in his DNA. Elkind grew up in a modernist house full of mid-century modern furniture and spent many weekends traveling into New York with his mother, visiting museums and exploring the city. He fondly recalls her pointing up at the skyscrapers and their architectural details, encouraging and instilling in him a curiosity about his surroundings and an attention to detail that would go on to shape his future career.

The idea to open a gallery originally came to Elkind during a visit to the annual juried art show at University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he attended college. The vetted show featured several hundred artists, many of whom, he realized, were extremely talented but would never make it into the mainstream art world. Taking a page from his entrepreneur father’s book, Elkind imagined opening a gallery in New York called the Gallery of the Unknown Artist where he would feature work by up-and-coming artists from universities around the country.

Ruth Duckworth 1919–2009

Ruth Duckworth was born Ruth Windmüller in Hamburg, Germany in 1919. She began drawing at a young age and left Germany for England in the mid-1930s, fleeing the Nazis. She attended the Liverpool College of Art from 1936 to 1940, studying painting and drawing. Throughout the 1940s, she took various jobs as a puppeteer, tombstone carver, working in a munitions factory and even spent some time working in Lucie Rie’s ceramic studio.

In the early 1940s, she enrolled in the City and Guilds of London Art School, shifting her focus to sculpture; explaining the change, Duckworth later said that “there’s no material that so effectively communicates both fragility and strength.” In the late 1940s she continued her studies at the Anglo-French Art Center in Kensington, where she met her soon-to-be husband, sculptor Aidron Duckworth. They worked on their first commission together in 1948, creating fourteen bas-relief limestone carvings for St. Joseph’s Church in New Malden, England.

Auction Results Ruth Duckworth