It’s been two weeks since the Oscars, and no one in the TMZ (in this case, the “Thirty Mile Zone” representing the center of Hollywood, not the paparazzi Web site) needed another party. But this past weekend, a refined group of Hollywood players headed to Palm Springs, Calif., at the invitation of Creative Artists Agency’s Bryan Lourd for a dinner at the Kaufmann House, one of Richard Neutra’s most treasured masterpieces. The house, at one point owned by Barry Manilow, is on the market. So Christie’s opened it up for Lourd and his pals to take a look, and if they had some pennies to spare, buy it. A still-perfect study in midcentury-modern architecture, the house is being auctioned by Christie’s on May 13 in its spring postwar and contemporary art sale, and is estimated to sell for $14 million to $25 million.
Among the guest list were writer David Benioff, the Hammer’s Annie Philbin, Edward Norton, producers Jerry Weintraub and John Goldwyn, Universal’s Donna Langley, architect Ron Radziner (who did some restoration on the house for the current owners) and “Capote” director Bennett Miller, who was filming footage for himself on a suitably appropriate vintage Bolex camera, which was probably as old as the house.
This story first appeared in the March 11, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
One guest who couldn’t make it was Julius Shulman, the architectural photographer who shot the house more than 50 years ago. “I invited him,” said Lourd, “but he had another invitation. I hope we all have another invitation when we’re his age.” Shulman is 106.