Machine Age Modern

Rudolph M. Schindler for Sardi's Restaurant, Hollywood

Exterior of Sardi's in Hollywood, 1937. Works Progress Administration Collection,
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

In 1932, restaurateur Eddie Brandstatter commissioned Ruldolph M. Schindler to design the Los Angeles restaurant Sardi’s. Located at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, Sardi’s became a local hot-spot, frequented by film industry elite including Charlie Chaplin, Maurice Chevalier, Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford. For the design, Schindler crafted a Machine Age façade and interior to compliment the glittering clientele while remaining steadfast to his Modernist values. For the furnishings, he utilized curvilinear forms to soften the hard-edges of the restaurant floor plan, illustrated in the present lot, a graceful dining chair in spun aluminum with rubber details.

The present design illustrated in the dining room of Sardi’s Restaurant, c. 1933.
Photographer, W. P. Woodock

Mark McDonald

The Founder of Mid-century Design

Mark McDonald has always been at the epicenter of the world that is mid-century design, to a large extent, it is a world he created. For over forty years, Mark has pioneered whole fields of collecting, providing the scholarship and creating the market for mid-century furniture, studio jewelry, ceramics and Italian glass.

Fifty/50 store front; Ralph Cutler, Mark Isaacson and Mark McDonald

In 1983, Mark opened Fifty/50 with partners Mark Isaacson and Ralph Cutler. This groundbreaking gallery defined collectors’ taste. At the time, modern works were still largely overlooked; Mark and his partners collected and presented the rarest and most interesting pieces, often working with the makers themselves, to create compelling exhibitions accompanied by catalogs documenting the work. 

Fifty/50 opened its doors with an exhibition of Eames design; Mark McDonald and Ray Eames

In the 1990s, Mark opened Gansevoort Gallery, where he continued to curate collections and exhibitions of lasting impact. Over the years, he established relationships with artists and their estates becoming the go to authority on the designs of Art Smith, Ilonka Karaz and Leza McVey, among others. His enthusiasm for the material extended beyond the gallery floor to the back room where lucky visitors got to flip through Mark’s impressive design reference library and discuss the importance of works with him. 

Art Smith with his Spiral necklace design; Mark hosted an exhibition on Art Smith at Gansevoort Gallery. He support of the artist extended to the Brooklyn Museum to which Mark donated several Smith pieces for their collection.

A connoisseur and wealth of knowledge, Mark became a resource for prominent collections across the globe—private and public alike. He inspired a generation of collectors and dealers introducing designers and their production to an audience that continues to grow. In 2002, Mark closed Gansevoort and established 330 gallery in Hudson, New York. Now, semi-retired, Marks splits his time between New York and Florida. He still collects, curates, supports, and shepherds the scholarship of mid-century design. 

Wright is honored to offer the following sixty plus works from Mark McDonald’s personal collection.

Rudolph M. Schindler 1887–1953

Rudolph Michael Schindler was an Austrian-born architect and designer who came to define the landscape of mid-century modernism in southern California. His education began at the Imperial Technical Institute in Vienna from 1906 to 1911 before studying under Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1910 to 1913. Schindler eventually sought the mentorship of Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago. In 1920, he was hired by Wright to oversee the important Hollyhock House commission in Los Angeles. Schindler would remain in California for the rest of his life.

His iconic home and studio, the Schindler Chase House on Kings Road, set the stage for California Modernism. The construction featured a minimalist approach and linear form built in sleek concrete with sliding glass doors opening to gardens—all of which became staples of the Southern California style. The space was designed for communal living and Schindler shared the space with his wife Pauline among many other important figures including Richard Neutra and John Cage. Between the years of 1920 and 1953 he designed numerous residential commissions such as the Lovell Beach House (1922), Rodriguez House (1942), Kallis House (1946), and the Tischler House (1949). While Rudolph Schindler’s death was untimely, his legacy and philosophy continues to be celebrated in his iconic structures.

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Auction Results Rudolph M. Schindler