CHICAGO – In December, Wright will auction a masterpiece of modern architecture located in Litchfield, Connecticut: the Stillman Cottage by Marcel Breuer. “The historically significant residence espouses the simple and streamlined ideals of one of the 20th century’s most influential architects,” noted a press release issued by Wright.Built in 1974, the Stillman Cottage features prominently within Marcel Breuer’s prolific architectural career. Located on a 10-acre parcel, the cottage is identical to Breuer’s first Wellfleet cottage design, Breuer Cottage (1944). Set upon stilts and nestled privately in the rolling hillside where it offers elevated views of Naugatuck Valley, the cottage is a study in economy and landscape.
In addition to being built by one of the greatest architects at the peak of the 20th century, the cottage is also one of more than 20 structures commissioned by Rufus Stillman, one of Breuer’s most avid supporters as well as a close friend. Further, it holds a unique place in the crosscurrents of the mid-century artistic and political movements of Connecticut, as it served as the home and campaign headquarters for U.S. Congressman Toby Moffett for many years. As a result of Stillman’s early and continued support for Moffett, as well as Stillman’s decades-long patronage of the modern art movement, Stillman contributed to his campaign in the form of campaign-specific artworks by several artists including Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Romare Bearden and Norman Ives.
The Stillman Cottage is estimated at $ 2 million to $2.5 million. The main structure is comprised of two bedrooms, one bath, a combined kitchen and dining space, and a cantilevered screened-in porch. Connected by a breezeway is an MBA-designed pavilion addition (as found on two of the four Wellfleet cottages, but here added later) with foyer, great room, master bedroom with bathroom and walk-in closet, and two abutting screen porches running its full length. A detached garage and carport were added later and are compatible with the home’s design. The house is surrounded by 70 acres of land trust, bestowed by the Stillman family, with trails connecting to the Stillman II and Stillman III houses.
Marcel Breuer’s Stillman Cottage will be offered at auction in December of 2018 alongside a highly-vetted selection of the best and rarest works by architects, designers and artists of the 20th century. Works from the auction will be on view at Wright’s Chicago gallery for two weeks prior to the auction. The Stillman Cottage is available for viewing by appointment.
History of the Stillman Cottage:
Rufus and Leslie Stillman first commissioned Marcel Breuer after visiting his House in Garden installed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1949 (purchased by the Rockefellers and relocated to Pocantico Hills, New York). Stillman Cottage (1974) was one of four homes Breuer would create for the Stillman family and one of more than 20 structures commissioned by Stillman over three decades. The cottage was sold to Toby Moffett in 1976, and sold again circa 1998. The present owners acquired the cottage in 2004. In 2018, the home received the Connecticut Preservation Award.
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