Published: March 24, 2020
LOS ANGELES – Peter Alexander Loughrey, respected auctioneer, art dealer and founder of Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA), passed away on Monday, March 16 at the young age of 52 of cancer.
Peter was a formidable and visionary force in the auction world. Peter and his wife of 25 years, Shannon, built the very first successful boutique auction house in the country dedicated exclusively to modern design. In addition to his role as LAMA’s founder, director and principal auctioneer, Peter was a skilled writer and curator whose passion for art and design led him to work tirelessly to champion the stories of the art objects and artists he so admired. He was eventually introduced to the wider world as an appraiser on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow, a program he joined in 2003.
Peter was born on February 20, 1968, and grew up in Maryland’s idyllic Eastern Shore. His early stories paint a Tom Sawyer-esque picture of a childhood spent fishing the local rivers, racing cars on empty wooded roads and running with abandon along the tops of moving trains, jumping from car to car. It was this daredevil streak that would lead Peter to Hollywood at the age of 20 to try his hand at being a stuntman. In Los Angeles, Peter began spending weekends with his older brother, Patrick Joseph, hunting for unique treasures at local estate sales to resell. In 1989, they opened a design gallery together on La Brea Boulevard which would eventually become the incredibly successful Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA).
Peter survived cancer once before. He kicked it hard and to hell at the age of 23, locked in a hospital in Maryland for four months where he reconnected with a girl from his childhood who was working there, Shannon Carragher. They married, moved back to Los Angeles, and Peter went on to live another incredibly full and productive 25 years, becoming a pillar in the mid-Twentieth Century art world and the man many people knew and loved.
It was ironic that shortly after his 50th birthday, he was diagnosed with another form of cancer which eventually took his life. “The best thing that ever happened to me was having cancer at such a young age – as it defined my life. I lived my days to their fullest and on my own terms with the underlying thread that each day was a gift of survival.”
All those who knew Peter will mourn, but they will also celebrate his existence and the fact that they were blessed to have known this man whose vast knowledge and passion for art and design was surpassed only by his kindness and generosity.
Peter leaves behind his loving wife Shannon, his immediate family and hundreds of Irish cousins, as well as an enormous network of loyal friends who thought the world of him.
With the continued guidance of Shannon Loughrey, along with her dedicated and expert staff, LAMA will continue to operate as before while celebrating Peter’s formidable legacy.
Courtesy Los Angeles Modern Auctions
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