The Collection of Late Trust Member Bonnie O’Boyle Sold at Freeman’s

On December 10, Freeman’s Auction House offered a collection of fine and decorative art from the private collection of Bonnie O’Boyle, a philanthropist from Bucks County, PA, who was a loyal member of the Decorative Arts Trust. The single-owner sale highlighted Bonnie’s eclectic taste with works of Pennsylvania Impressionism, Modern and Contemporary Art, and 20th Century Design.

A true Renaissance woman, Bonnie’s lifetime of collecting showcased her various interests, intellect, and keen eye for local craftsmanship. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, O’Boyle worked as a journalist for over two decades in various boating publications. She rose through the ranks in her professional career and eventually co-founded Power & Motoryacht magazine in 1985, where she became the first female editor-in-chief of a boating magazine.

An active member of the local community, her collection reflected a dedication to and investment in the culture of Bucks County, with the majority of works being by nearby artists and craftsmen. She supported several art and community organizations, as well, including the James A. Michener Art Museum, the Friends of Silver Lake Nature Center, and the Bucks County SPCA.

In her fine art collection were notable works by Kenneth Nunamaker and William Lathrop, who is considered the founder of the Pennsylvania Impressionist School. Her Pennsylvania Craft & Design collection included highlights by Wharton Esherick, George Nakashima, Sam Maloof, and Arthur Espenet Carpenter. Bonnie also acquired porcelain bowls and vases by Brother Thomas Bezanson and artist-turned-potter Toshiko Takaezu.

Lisa Tremper Hanover, the retired Director/CEO of the James A. Michener Art Museum, stated, “Bonnie’s enthusiasm for a diversity of life experiences is echoed in the tangible compositions she gathered around; vibrant, well-crafted, thought-provoking, evocative of an era, and reflective of a curious mind.” We will miss Bonnie’s presence and many admirable qualities at Trust events but take solace from the thought of her impressive collection finding happy new homes.

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