40 Years of Lost City Arts

Jim Elkind, founder Lost City Arts—of one of the most influential design galleries in New York City—has design in his DNA. Elkind grew up in a modernist house full of mid-century modern furniture and spent many weekends traveling into New York with his mother, visiting museums and exploring the city. He fondly recalls her pointing up at the skyscrapers and their architectural details, encouraging and instilling in him a curiosity about his surroundings and an attention to detail that would go on to shape his future career.

The idea to open a gallery originally came to Elkind during a visit to the annual juried art show at University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he attended college. The vetted show featured several hundred artists, many of whom, he realized, were extremely talented but would never make it into the mainstream art world. Taking a page from his entrepreneur father’s book, Elkind imagined opening a gallery in New York called the Gallery of the Unknown Artist where he would feature work by up-and-coming artists from universities around the country.

Paavo Tynell 1890–1973

Finnish designer Paavo Tynell first encountered metalwork as a teenager when apprenticing to become a blacksmith. Possessing a natural talent for manipulating metals, Tynell began working for Koru Oy, the famed Finnish metalsmith company. Perfecting the techniques of metal finishes, he was awarded the title of master craftsman in 1913. Moving from metalwork to jewelry, Tynell proved skillful in making delicate pieces; he designed and crafted the wedding rings of his friends and fellow designers, Alvar and Aino Mandelin Aalto.

Noticing a need for designed metalwork in Finland, Tynell founded his own company Taito Oy Ab in 1918. At first the company focused on interior and exterior metalwork, but later moved on to creating creative lamp designs in the 1930s. Tynell was responsible for a majority of the company's designs but Taito Oy also featured the work of emerging designers like Kaj Franck and Alvar Aalto. Working with Aalto and his company Artek, Tynell designed the lighting for many buildings and interiors by Aalto, including the Paimio Sanatorium, the Savoy Restaurant, and the Viipuri Library.

Auction Results Paavo Tynell