Copyright 2009 Syd Entel Galleries Susan Benjamin Glass, All rights Reserved.
Michael Vollbracht is a modern day Renaissance man. He is an accomplished artist, a
distinguished fashion designer, a published author and an international illustrator.
His illustrations are found across the world and his paintings are in many public and
private collections including those of Mrs. Gerald Ford, Diane von Furstenberg and
Born in 1947 in Quincy, Illinois, Vollbracht began his career in 1965 as a student at
the Parsons School of Design in New York City He graduated in 1969, winning the
Norman Norrell Award, the school's highest honor, named for the legendary
American designer. The award was presented to Michael by Bill Blass and thus
began a long and lasting friendship.
In 1969, Geoffrey Beene selected Michael to become a member of his design team.
In 1971, his talents were recognized by Donald Brooks, who hired him to work under
his label as the designer for Boutique Donald Brooks. Vollbracht joined the elegant
store Henri Bendel in 1973 as their in-house illustrator.
In 1975, Vollbracht began working for Bloomingdale’s illustrating the stores’
advertisements. Vollbracht’s modern works became instantly recognizable, including
his design of the now-iconic Bloomingdale’s shopping bag. It bore his sketch and his
name - but not the store's name. An error had occurred and was only discovered
after nine million bags had been printed. It was a great story that made him a
In 1979, Michael launched Michael Vollbracht LTD. His collection was known for its
bold shapes and great graphic prints. It was sold in boutiques and major department
stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Ave. After just one
year in business, Michael received the prestigious Coty American Fashion Critics
Award for Designer of the Year.
In 1985, Vollbracht wrote, illustrated and published his book Nothing Sacred a visual
memoir and diary of his 25 years in New York. In that same year, he closed his
design house and moved to Florida to concentrate on his art and illustrations.
In 1999 Michael's great friend and mentor, Bill Blass called on him to work with him
on “Bill Blass: An American Designer" the retrospective exhibition of Blass' career at
Indiana University’s art museum in 2002; and to edit the coffee-table book that
accompanied the exhibition. Vollbracht spent months going through Blass' archive
of suits, dresses and evening gowns to prepare for the retrospective. After Bill Blass
died in 2002, Vollbracht was appointed Artistic Director of Bill Blass Ltd..
After five years as designer, Michael made the decision to once again leave the
hectic fashion world and his elegant gray offices to return to his peaceful cottage in
Florida and pursue his art career full time.
Click on the images to the right to see the enlarged versions of Michael Vollbracht's
LADY AT DELFT BOWL
EVER THE OPTIMIST
EVE - DIPTYCH
CAT AT A STILL LIFE