Skip to content
Who's in the Video

James Zemaitis

James Zemaitis began his auction career in 1996 at Christie's, where he worked for three years in the 20th Century Design department. Prior to his arrival at Sotheby's in 2003,[…]

When the market says so.

James Zemaitis: I think a piece of furniture becomes a piece of art in two ways. One, when the market dictates it because of its value. Two, in the way that you display it. And thus, I continue to this day to be a huge fan of dinnerware and china produced by Russell Wright – you know one of our great, modern industrial designers who produced billions and billions of pieces of ceramic dinnerware for the masses during the Depression era. And I look at a simple butter dish that there was probably two million of this butter dish in this specific glaze produced by Wright and manufactured in Steubenville, Ohio in the ‘30s. And I look at that butter dish. I look at the water pitcher. I look at the casserole from this, and I can put that, you know, on a shelf by itself. And it’s just the curves, the lines; that just elegant feel to it, it’s art. It’s absolutely art. But it’s also dishwasher friendly.

Recorded on: 1/30/08

Up Next