Don't miss the preview evening for mr mod: The Morrison Collection at 6pm on Tuesday 23 May at Webb's in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
When Ross Morrison announced he was closing Mr Mod, his legendary design store in Ōtautahi Christchurch, you could almost hear the cries of despair across Aotearoa. For two decades, Morrison has sold mid-century design, mostly from Scandinavia and the United States, with unique provenance and design quality – though he’s been an active collector for a lot longer than that.
Morrison has never gone in for the usual or the expected, even as the popularity of so-called “mid-century modern” peaked. The pieces he sought out were proper collector’s items – well designed and well sourced, with a great design story and a good line that transcended trends. Not surprisingly, his furniture has wound up in collections around this country and other parts of the world. (His own home also featured in Here 03 back in 2020 – a 1968 Sir Ian Athfield house filled with furniture ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s.)
Morrison was born into a family of furniture lovers: his father was a well-known cabinet maker and antiques dealer who passed on an enthusiasm for design. As well as securing pieces for his store, Morrison acquired an extensive personal collection. His pieces have featured in exhibitions at the likes of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū and CoCA. “He’s a third-generation woodworker – so he is someone who understands what it takes to make a beautiful piece of furniture,” says Ben Erren, director of decorative arts at Webb’s. “That deep knowledge has informed everything he has bought and collected over the years.”
While the closure of the store is sad, it ends with an extensive showcase of his collection in a series of three auctions at Webb’s in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, starting on Sunday 28 May. “The first will present a range from the collection that will set the tone for those that follow,” says Erren. “Each catalogue will be diverse, but of the highest quality.”
With a collection covering everything from furniture to objects, art to lighting, it’s an exceptional offering, and one not to be missed. “This is the most significant collection of mid-century modern and antique furniture ever to hit the New Zealand market,” says Erren. “There has been nothing else like it, and it will never be replicated.”
mr mod: The Morrison Collection
33a Normanby Road, Maungawhau Mt Eden, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland