The Collection of John M. Hall

John M. Hall was an architectural photographer for publications including New York Times Magazine, Elle Decor and Architectural Digest; he saw his work as "telling the story" of what architects built and his process was to "go from the overall to the the details," with a keen eye for the subtleties of line, form, light and shadow. Hall lived with art and design that reflected his refined sensibilities: simple, livable furniture by Eames, Knoll and Aalto, the clean lines and smooth surfaces of 1930s streamlined moderne lamps, china and glassware and minimalist works on paper by Robert Mangold and Richard Serra. Tucked into a small Manhattan apartment, Hall's collection shows the ease with which iconic 20th century designs were meant to be lived with.

John M. Hall photographed his apartment in the Flatiron district for an article highlighting
his collection in the June 1999 issue of House Beautiful

Hall grew up in North Carolina and studied architecture at North Carolina State University; he was also a ballet dancer and moved to New York in the mid-1970s to study at the American Ballet Theater School. In 1977, Hall relocated to Paris and worked as a model. It was during this time that he developed an interest in black and white photography. 

Thank God I missed post-modernism. I guess I'm just a classicist at heart. 
—John M. Hall

His structural, classical style was informed by photographers such as André Kertész and Walker Evans. Hall returned to New York in 1981 and began his career as an architectural photographer, with a particular interest in private gardens, Greek Revival and Biedermeier. He approached capturing these spaces as making "something that is more than just a document, [but] something that is visually exciting." 

The same is true of Hall's personal collection, with its attention to and exuberance for designs that are "clean and clear and simple as possible," while also still captivating. After Hall's passing in 2019, significant contributions from his collection were gifted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery and his alma mater's Gregg Museum of Art and Design; the present selection of works celebrates Hall's sophisticated and gracious eye for design.

I'm not a design historian. I'm attracted to objects because I find them interesting and, yes, beautiful. And that's where this 20th-century sensibility started for me. There's just something so right about it.

John M. Hall

An Interview with John M. Hall

An interview with Hall from the 1980s shows him on location photographing a home and sharing his philosophies on design, architecture and photography.
 


Arne Jacobsen 1902–1971

Arne Jacobsen was an architect and designer who approached his work from both perspectives, making major contributions to Functionalism and Danish Modern style. Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, he won the silver medal for his chair design at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1925 while an architecture student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. After winning the Danish Architect’s Association competition for his House of the Future design, he opened his own office in 1929. Jacobsen was forced to flee to Sweden in 1943 following the rise of the Nazi party, but later returned to Denmark ushering in a wave of landmark public and private commissions.

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Upcoming Lots Arne Jacobsen

ARNE JACOBSEN, AJ pendant lamp | wright20.com

171

Arne Jacobsen

AJ pendant lamp

estimate: $700–900
ARNE JACOBSEN, Ant dining chairs, set of four | wright20.com

174

Arne Jacobsen

Ant dining chairs, set of four

estimate: $700–900
ARNE JACOBSEN, AJ table lamp | wright20.com

176

Arne Jacobsen

AJ table lamp

estimate: $700–900
ARNE JACOBSEN, Sevener chair, model 3117 | wright20.com

184

Arne Jacobsen

Sevener chair, model 3117

estimate: $700–900
ARNE JACOBSEN, AJ pendant lamp | wright20.com

185

Arne Jacobsen

AJ pendant lamp

estimate: $500–700
ARNE JACOBSEN, AJ flatware | wright20.com

186

Arne Jacobsen

AJ flatware

estimate: $3,000–5,000
ARNE JACOBSEN, Sevener armchair, model 3117 | wright20.com

189

Arne Jacobsen

Sevener armchair, model 3117

estimate: $1,000–1,500
ARNE JACOBSEN, Swan chairs model 3320, pair | wright20.com

191

Arne Jacobsen

Swan chairs model 3320, pair

estimate: $2,000–3,000
ARNE JACOBSEN, Swan settee, model 3321 | wright20.com

194

Arne Jacobsen

Swan settee, model 3321

estimate: $3,000–5,000
ARNE JACOBSEN, Sevener chair, model 3117 | wright20.com

212

Arne Jacobsen

Sevener chair, model 3117

estimate: $700–900
ARNE JACOBSEN, Sevener armchair, model 3117 | wright20.com

243

Arne Jacobsen

Sevener armchair, model 3117

estimate: $1,500–2,000

Auction Results Arne Jacobsen

ARNE JACOBSEN, desk | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

desk

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $56,400
ARNE JACOBSEN, Ox chair | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Ox chair

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $36,000
ARNE JACOBSEN, Drop chair from the SAS Royal Hotel | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Drop chair from the SAS Royal Hotel

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $28,750
ARNE JACOBSEN, carpet from the SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

carpet from the SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $27,500
ARNE JACOBSEN, Egg chair and ottoman | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Egg chair and ottoman

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $26,250
ARNE JACOBSEN, Egg chair and ottoman | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Egg chair and ottoman

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $25,200
ARNE JACOBSEN, Drop chair from the SAS Royal Hotel | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Drop chair from the SAS Royal Hotel

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $25,000
ARNE JACOBSEN, Egg chair | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Egg chair

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $23,750
ARNE JACOBSEN, Ox lounge chair | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Ox lounge chair

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $22,500
ARNE JACOBSEN, Drop chair | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Drop chair

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $20,400
ARNE JACOBSEN, Drop chair from the SAS Royal Hotel | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Drop chair from the SAS Royal Hotel

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $20,000
ARNE JACOBSEN, Giraffe chairs from the SAS hotel, set of six | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Giraffe chairs from the SAS hotel, set of six

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $19,200
ARNE JACOBSEN, Egg chair | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Egg chair

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $17,500
ARNE JACOBSEN, Drop chair from the SAS Royal Hotel | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Drop chair from the SAS Royal Hotel

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $16,250
ARNE JACOBSEN, Egg chair and ottoman | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Egg chair and ottoman

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $16,250
ARNE JACOBSEN, Egg Chair and ottoman | wright20.com

Arne Jacobsen

Egg Chair and ottoman

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $16,250