Peggy Bell sale
By Shannon Reece
Peggy Bell will be leaving San Miguel at the end of July this year. Her beautiful home in Atascadero will be up for sale, and we will have the final open house and sale of the Bells’ extensive collection of art and antiquities. You are all invited Saturday, July19, from 9am to 1pm to view the collection and meet Peggy, the most gracious lady I have ever met. Mrs. Bell has been a member of the Unitarian church here in San Miguel for many years, and she is well known in the community for her volunteer work, as she believes in living her life deeply committed to humanitarian principles. Her late husband George was the first violin teacher for children, out of Bellas Artes, and dedicated his life to his two passions, music and amassing a collection of art and fine silk rugs that would rival a museum.
By Peggy Bell
Sat, Jul 19, 9am-1pm
Peggy was no stranger to humanitarianism before moving here, as she was born to missionary parents in China. She grew up there and later graduated from college. Some of the Chinese pieces in her collection would now be national treasures. She also has George’s 1937 Mason & Hamil grand player piano, which has been used in many recitals right in their living room. George would love to trick dinner guests into thinking he was playing Chopin like Chopin would play. He had a great sense of humor but also an exquisite eye for sculpture, and he pursued the work relentlessly. There are four granite and marble forms of Augusto Ortega Escobedo, now deceased, but considered one of the foremost 20th-century Mexican sculptors. Also there’s an impressive life-size bronze by Castañeda’s of his Indian wife called “Earth Mother.” A student of Francisco Zuñiga’s, Felipe Castañeda soon surpassed his professor in the art of sculpture. This bronze was the only one cast, so it is a one of a kind, signed and dated by the artist. Peggy also has an original pencil drawing by Francisco Zuñiga, very well known for his depiction of Mexican women, and this one doesn’t disappoint. When I first met Peggy, she showed me a bodega full of paintings and prints, among which were five large Rufino Tamayo lithos (I was impressed)! We have since sold two and many of the unique paintings and sculptures along the way. If you haven’t had the chance to attend one of her events before, you are in for a treat. We hope to see you on the 19th. I have some of the collection on my website www.shansales.com under ongoing sales “Bell’s Collection.”