Buying Mid Century Art in Los Angeles from Local Auction Houses

The city of Los Angeles is not only a hub for entertainment and cultural diversity but also a treasure trove for art enthusiasts, especially those drawn to the "cool style" of Mid Century art produced here in Los Angeles from the 1950s to 1970s. Here we will explore the vibrant world of Mid Century art collecting in Los Angeles and tips for purchasing these coveted pieces from local auction houses.

For Mid Century art enthusiasts and collectors looking to delve into the rich history of the Los Angeles art world, local auction houses offer a captivating avenue to acquire remarkable pieces from this iconic era. Whether you're seeking a vibrant Rothko-esque canvas or a sleek Eames-inspired sculpture, the local auction scene in Los Angeles is a dynamic platform where you can explore, bid, and ultimately own a piece of history.


Buying Mid Century Art in Los Angeles at Auction

Auction houses like Hughes frequently feature Mid Century Art in their catalogues. These events offer a unique opportunity to witness the excitement of live bidding, where you can engage with fellow collectors and enthusiasts who share your passion for the aesthetic and historical value of Mid Century Art. With artworks from artists like Sam Francis, Ed Ruscha, Ed Kienholz, Billy Al Bengston, James Turrell, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses, and Robert Irwin gracing the auction blocks, these events provide a chance to uncover hidden gems, often sourced from private collections, that might not be available through other avenues.

Artists from this era who made incredible work but have not yet gained national recognition are perfect examples of what to look for at local Los Angeles auctions. Doyle Lane, an African American ceramic artist is a perfect of example, as his work has been rediscovered in the last twenty years and is now highly sought after. Female artists Susan Bright Lautmann Hertel and the prolific Sister Mary Corita Kent both worked in the mid century era in Los Angeles and have now gained national recognition.


Come Prepared When Buying at Auction

When engaging in the auction process, it's essential to come prepared with a clear understanding of the pieces you're interested in, their estimated values, and your budget. Conduct thorough research on the artists and their works, inquire about the condition of the pieces, and don't hesitate to seek guidance from experts and specialists present at the auction house. The thrill of the bidding process can be exhilarating, but it's crucial to stay within your predetermined budget to ensure a satisfying and successful acquisitionMid Century.


Tips for Purchasing Mid Century Art at Auction

Educate Yourself: Familiarize yourself with the prominent Mid Century artists, styles, and techniques. This knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and recognize genuine pieces.

Authenticity Matters: When buying Mid Century art, authenticity is key. Ask for provenance, certificates of authenticity, and any relevant documentation that supports the artwork's history.

Condition and Preservation: Mid Century art can be delicate, and its value is often linked to its condition. Assess the artwork's condition, inquire about any necessary restoration, and discuss proper preservation methods.

Personal Connection: Mid Century art has a unique ability to resonate with collectors on a personal level. When purchasing a piece, consider the emotional connection it evokes and how it fits into your collection or living space.

Budget Wisely: While Mid Century art can be a valuable investment, it's important to set a budget and stick to it. Research price ranges for different types of artworks to ensure a reasonable and satisfying purchase.


In the heart of Los Angeles, local auction houses like Hughes create an environment where Mid Century art enthusiasts can connect with the past while shaping their own artistic journey. The energy, anticipation, and the chance to bring home a carefully curated piece of Mid Century art make these auction houses an integral part of the city's vibrant art scene, providing a gateway to timeless beauty that continues to captivate across generations. As you embark on your journey to bring Mid Century art into your life, remember to combine your passion with knowledge, authenticity, and a keen eye for quality, ensuring that you not only acquire a piece of art but a piece of history that will continue to inspire for generations to come.

Hughes Auctions features Mid Century Art in their California Riviera Auctions, along with Postmodern and Contemporary art, furnishings, and design, inspired by the creative energy and output found here in California. If you're interested in buying from a California Riviera Auction, sign up to email list to be updated on upcoming auction events. If you have art to sell, get started here by filling out our form and sending photos.

collection of doyle lane ceramics

Doyle Lane (1925-2002) Works in Ceramics

James Turrell (b 1943) Oil On Canvas

Susan Bright Lautmann Hertel (1930-1992) Oil on Canvas