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Press Release

Boston to NY (and Back Again): MFA Boston’s Curator Emerita Personal Collection Hits the Auction Block

Opportunity to bid on a piece of this fine estate collection starts at $1 with Black Rock Galleries

(PRUnderground) January 24th, 2020

Wandering through the magnificent halls and galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA Boston) gazing upon priceless works of art, many are often oblivious to the fact that someone (or a team of someones) worked tirelessly to curate and artfully display the very collections being admired. Over the course of 30 years, a curator’s exposure to thousands of fine works of art will help them acquire a very discerning eye for detail and quality. This is most certainly the case for one renowned curator emerita of the MFA Boston, Barbara Stern Shapiro, as evidenced in her lifetime personal household collection … from Boston to New York (and back to Boston again).

BRG is pleased to offer this exquisite collection of fine art, antiques, mid-century furnishings, decorative arts, and household finery all hailing from the estate of Barbara Stern Shapiro in their Barbara Stern Shapiro Estate Boston online auction closing on Wednesday, January 29 exclusively at Now her wonderful personal and private estate collection is available to the highest bidder in this absolute auction (no reserve) where all bids begin at one dollar. Among the interesting selection of unique lots, auction highlights include:

  • a Jessica Stockholder limited edition abstract mixed media
  • a Michele Oka Doner for Christofle limited edition silver plated palm vase
  • an Ekornes Stressless Scandinavian modern lounge chair with ottoman
  • a vintage Kevi desk chair designed by Jorgen Rasmussen
  • an early to mid-20th century Black, Starr, and Frost sterling silver footed tray (31.82 ozt)

Shapiro’s impressive career enabled her to curate a multitude of exhibitions and author over two dozen catalogs, along with contributing to many art related volumes written by others. For over three decades beginning in the 1970s, she managed exhibitions and catalogs for the likes of Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, David Hockney, and Roy Lichtenstein. Her legacy lives on at MFA Boston in the Bernard and Barbara Stern Shapiro Gallery. After her retirement from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 2003, Shapiro’s involvement in the arts continued as a trustee for the IPCNY (International Print Center New York) a non-profit institution which dedicates itself to the presentation of prints emerging and established artists.

BRG invites you to view auction details, peruse the catalog featuring available lots in this unique estate collection, and registering your online bids by visiting This online auction begins to close at 8:05 p.m. on January 29, 2020. This auction features extended bidding (please visit for details). BRG offers warehouse-to-warehouse transportation (between its Boston, Bridgeport, Greenwich, and Raleigh locations) of the auction lots for convenient pick-up for winning bidders. Happy bidding!

About Black Rock Galleries

lack Rock Galleries’ founders, Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, created a one-stop estate liquidation enterprise based upon knowledge, honesty, integrity. Their belief that fine antiques and home decor should not be cost prohibitive. What began in 2010 as Bridgeport Salvage Company in the Mill Hill section of Bridgeport quickly grew into a unique business offering a luxury estate consignment shop, full auction and estate sale services, and expert appraisals. By 2012, growth pushed them to a 50,000 square feet industrial loft style showroom and a new name, Black Rock Galleries (BRG).

Since launching its house-built proprietary online auction and shopping platform in 2014, BRG grows exponentially each year and boasts some of the highest sell-through rates in the industry. The business now employs over 25 people as it continues to expand its offerings and locations, and is the east coasts preeminent estate liquidation and auction house. Black Rock Galleries is headquartered in Bridgeport, CT. BRG’s brands include Black Rock Galleries, Black Rock Interiors, Clearing House Estate Sales, and AuctionNinja (an online auction platform for estate liquidators and auction houses). BRG’s flagship luxury consignment showroom, Black Rock Interiors is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, CT and features a fresh and changing inventory of quality furnishings, antiques, fine and decorative art, and more. BRG also has four auction preview showrooms/warehouses: BRG-Bridgeport located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, CT; BRG-Greenwich located at 179 Hamilton Avenue in Greenwich, CT; BRG-Boston located at 318 Bear Hill Road in Waltham, MA; and BRG-Raleigh located at 215 James Jackson Avenue in Cary, NC. For information, hours, special events, and all BRG offerings visit or call (203) 335-0000.

Press Contact

Name: Jennifer Ventresca
Phone: 203-335-0000

Original Press Release.

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