pair of lounge chairs from the Morton D. May HouseUSA, 1940
white oak, upholstery, chrome-plated brass
36 w x 27 d x 39 h in (91 x 69 x 99 cm)
provenance: Morton D. May, Ladue, MO | David B. Lichtenstein | Thence by descent
literature: Ultramodern: Samuel Marx, Architect, Design, Art Collector, O'Brien, ppg. 134-143 discuss commission, ppg. 140-141 illustrates one example in situ
The Morton D. May House designed by Samuel Marx in 1940 stood out as an icon of international style and modernism. Located in an affluent neighborhood in Ladue, Missouri, the home featured a flat roof and asymmetrical plan. Its interior showcased furnishings with clean modern lines, luxurious amenities (the first private residence to have central air conditioning) as well as a plethora of art including paintings by Maurice Freedman.
Morton D. May, also known as Buster, was the chairman of the May department stores. He hired his uncle Samuel Marx to design his home and interior, giving Marx carte blanche for the project. With bespoke furnishings and objects designed by and selected by Marx, the residence was complete work of art and stands as Marx’s most iconic commissions.
The Morton D. May House was demolished in 2005. The following nineteen lots come from the original interior.