Featured Property: The Mark M. Johnson Collection

A native of Rochester, Minnesota, Mark M. Johnson grew up in Elgin, Illinois. Initially intending on a career in medicine, he eventually graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, with a BA in art history in 1974. While an undergraduate, he enrolled in numerous studio courses, to learn as much as possible about the various processes and techniques of creating art. He received his MA in Art History and a Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1974. For two years following his graduation, he was a Lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1977, he began his prodigious museum career with a position as Curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art; this was quickly followed by positions as Assistant Director at the Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois and the Directorship of the Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. In 1994, Mark began his almost 25-year tenure as the Director of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts,  Montgomery, Alabama.

Arriving at the Museum with enthusiasm and a keen artistic vision, Mark soon oversaw an expansion of the museum’s grounds and exhibition spaces which would eventually include the Margaret Berry Lowder Gallery, the Sculpture Garden, and the Weil Atrium. He was instrumental in arranging major exhibitions on subjects as diverse as the prints of James McNeill Whistler, African American artists, American paintings, and quilts, as well as on artists such as Rembrandt and Albrecht Durer. Mark was the author and editor of numerous books and of the museum’s highly regarded exhibition catalogues (most of which are still in publication). He was responsible for the creation of the museum’s collection of art glass; many of the artists in the collection are represented by works offered here.

A collector and supporter of the art and artists, Mark’s personal collection includes works by many regional artists such as Cam Langley and Frank Fleming, as well as more internationally renowned contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons, Dale Chihuly, Kara Walker and Yousef Karsh. He befriended many of these artists, forming life-long relationships. One such artist was the photographer Karsh, whose studio and home Mark visited several times.

Mark was a member of many professional art organizations, including the prestigious Association of Art Museum Directors.

New Orleans Auction Galleries is honored to offer regional and contemporary art from the collection of Mark M. Johnson.

Browse the October 12-13 Estates Auction catalogue HERE