Antiques and Alma Mater

By Chandra Harris-McCray

Lark Mason (’77) dusts off and rifles through the musty old belongings of the famous and infamous.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Bernard Madoff are the familiar among hundreds of unknowns channeling Mason’s lifelong love affair with the past.

What began as a buying and selling gig in an antiques retail mecca in Cookeville, Tennessee. turned into a 24-year journey at the world’s preeminent fine art auction house, Sotheby’s New York. The Antiques Roadshow appraiser served as a generalist, senior vice president in the Chinese works of art department, and director of online auctions before founding his own international online art auction site, iGavel. A noted author, Mason has taught at Parsons School of Design, New York School of Interior Design and New York University.

In between jaunts across the world and his New York City home base, he’s come back to his alma mater. Centering his fine art passion at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, Mason is carrying out a comprehensive three-year assessment of the museum’s collections.

Tune in to East Tennessee PBS October 6 at 8:00 p.m. to see the McClung Museum featured on a Knoxville episode of Antiques Roadshow.

The McClung Museum is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the museum’s website.

Video by Adam Brimer

One comment on “Antiques and Alma Mater

  1. A couple of years ago my wife and I attended the Antiques Roadshow when it came to Dallas. Lark appraised a pair of carved bird nature scenes in frames, thought to be Chinese, for us. I did not know until today that not only do we share an alma mater, but we were on campus at the same time.