Offbeat Estate Sale: Santa Monica Museum of Art

It's not your typical find-stuff-get-deals sell-all; cameras and art supplies are part of the scene.

Bargain buffs and those looking to score a low, low price on a new-old desk or lamp can be forgiven for having an untouchable picture, in their minds, of what an estate sale is all about.

There are the typical items you see at such events, the ottomans and textiles and china and silver and the treasured doodads of family life lived over several decades. There are also the fabulous hats of years gone by. Also, tuxedos and ornate picture frames and guitars and the random delightful detritus of our everyday lives.

None of that, really, will apply to what is surely one of the most offbeat estate sales to come down the pike in awhile: The Santa Monica Museum of Art's moving sale. Rather than purchasing from an individual family, you'll be shopping the goods of an institution that's been open for 17 years, and such goods will not follow estate-sale norms.

The sale is on from Tuesday, May 26 through Thursday, May 28.

But just because this is a museum sale doesn't mean you'll be buying paintings right off the wall; the must-go stuff covers a wide and whimsical range. Think blue-chip art supplies. Think cameras and microphones and various tech. If you've been longing for a vintage steel-cage desk, the Bergamot Station museum is selling 'em, more than one.

Artist-designed plates, furniture painted by artist Stephen Keene, art books and art catalogs and the shelves to display them on, and several other museum-themed objects shall sit with the proverbial sale tags.

Oh, and let us bow to the surprises bargainists are sure to encounter: Pink beanbag chairs need a new home. They won't be the only what-the? things you'll see, either, and thank goodness.

SMMoA is on the road, heading for a new home, which is TBA. And anyone who has every jumped apartments or areas of town knows that lightening the load along the way is just a smart way to start a new chapter.

This isn't to say you'll give up the traditional estate sale. But won't it be a bit of a gas, or a laugh, at least, to brag about what you find at the Santa Monica Museum of Art estate sale, to visiting friends?

Surely you'll drop into the conversation that you now own a museum piece, even if it is a pink beanbag chair. Or should we say especially if it is a pink beanbag chair.

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