PHILADELPHIA — Vladimir Kagan, one of the leading figures of 20th-century American furniture design, once described his work as “elegance with tranquility.” This winter, Freeman’s brings this body of work — as well as the art, furniture and design objects Kagan loved and lived with — to market in its Wednesday, January 25 sale titled The Personal Collection of Vladimir Kagan. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
“We’re honored to bring selections by Kagan to market, alongside works by his family members and other esteemed artists and designers,” said Head of Sale Michael Hartman. “Kagan was a visionary whose work is as fresh and innovative today as it was 70 years ago; Freeman’s is pleased to bring a new retrospective look at the fruits of Kagan’s storied career.”
The Personal Collection of Vladimir Kagan is led by his Unicorn sofa, a 1960s design that blends mid-century form with sensuous comfort — a hallmark of Kagan’s design sensibilities. Several quintessential Kagan designs are also on offer, including a set of six Nexus dining chairs, a plush yet sleek upholstered chaise, desks, sofas and daybeds. Freeman’s has brought multiple pieces by Kagan to market in the past, and his iconic Serpentine and Unicorn sofa designs have consistently exceeded their presale estimates.
Kagan lived in the same Park Avenue apartment with his wife, Erica Wilson, for nearly 50 years; the oft-photographed interior was featured in countless magazine spreads. Several works from the personal collection of Vladimir Kagan come to Freeman’s directly from the apartment’s living room, including Kagan’s green Omnibus sofa, Infinity coffee table and an early tricolor ceiling lamp.
In addition to Kagan’s own designs, the sale also features a stainless steel candelabra by Illi Kagan, Vladimir’s father; embroidery by Erica Wilson; and several works of art from the family’s personal collection, from James Suzuki and Alexander Archipenko to Charles Green Shaw and Jason Crum.
In contextualizing Kagan’s output within his life, domestic space, aesthetic sensibilities and personal collecting, Freeman’s offers collectors the opportunity to know the eminent designer more intimately and to own a piece of his legacy.
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