Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
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New York, NY, United States
DoneThu, Dec 8, 2005 2:00 PM GMT

VV: Masterworks from the Collection of Alexander von Vegesack

Alexander von Vegesack is surely one of the most influential figures in the design world to date. His commitment has spanned over 30 years, not only in preserving and unveiling the history of design but incrementally shaping its future. It was the groundbreaking exhibition with the American Federation of Arts “Bentwood and Metal Furniture” which then led him to travel to America where he was introduced to Billy Wilder, who in turn introduced him to Ray Eames. It was this meeting and a chance remark by Alexander to Ray Eames regarding selling part of his collection that led to him being introduced to Rolf Fehlbaum, the CEO of Vitra. At this time Mr. Fehlbaum was planning to set up the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein and had already amassed an envious collection of design. The meeting led to the two men working together and since 1987, when the Vitra Design Museum project began, Alexander von Vegesack, as curator, together with Mr. Fehlbaum, has assembled what is now one of the most important museum collections in the world.

In her introduction to the exhibition catalogue, Portrait d’une collection: Alexander von Vegesack, at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 1993, curator Maire-Laure Jousset explains Alexander’s reason for collecting, “For some it means getting all the pieces from the same artist. In von Vegesack’s case, only the pieces that advance/progress the technical intelligence through material or drawing or craft are worth to be considered to be part of his collection.” She continues to explain Alexander’s philosophy on collecting “(he) looks at his collection as organic, like a tree which grows with a branch here and there. But dealing with a collection means considering its constitution and future.”

Today, Alexander von Vegesack continues to collect and further his search for innovative industrial modernist design. He also continues to bring the world of design to an eager audience with workshops he has created at Domaine de Boisbuchet in France. For the past seven years this non-profit association C.I.R.E.C.A. (Centre International de Recherche et d'Education Culturelle et Agricole) has collaborated with the Vitra Design Museum and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, to offer interdisciplinary summer workshops enabling participants from all over the world to live and work for one week with renowned architects, designers and artists. Past participating designers have included Alberto Meda, Yves Béhar and Fernando and Humberto Campana.

The following lots are masterworks from his exceptional collection which illustrate his influence on how we judge and appreciate design. Domaine de Boisbuchet continues to need to be restored and expanded for future projects and programs. The sale proceeds of VV: Masterworks from the Collection of Alexander von Vegesack will be used, in part, to support these endeavors.