This October, Wright presents Design, a celebration of the preeminent originators from across the 20th century. Seminal works by Frank Lloyd Wright will be offered alongside important lighting designs by Paavo Tynell, furnishings from Chandigarh, and ceramic forms by the visionary Leza McVey. Many of the before mentioned lots and several others are among an exciting selection of works from the Collection of Mark McDonald, a trailblazer and lexicon of all things design, often credited with inventing the present day interest in mid-century modern. Designs by Jean Prouvé, Art Smith and George Nakashima round out the sale, highlighting the breadth and quality of this impressive auction.
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.
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.
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.
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 sixty plus works from Mark McDonald’s personal collection.
116 Frank Lloyd Wright
exterior light fixture from the Francis W. Little House, Wayzata, Minnesota
22 October 2020
11 am central
312 563 0020