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20th Century Design

WYETH’s Sagaponack Outpost Comes to Sotheby’s

NEW YORK – For those who missed last year’s resoundingly successful WYETH sale, now is your chance to score a piece from the coveted New York design destination. Whereas last summer, Sotheby’s celebrated WYETH’s new Tribeca location, this June, Sotheby’s is collaborating with WYETH to curate a postwar design collection that speaks to the unique aesthetic vision of its Sagaponack gallery. “The magnificent light and air, the star-filled night sky and the ever present ocean and its eternal rhythms are sources of renewal and inspiration,” said WYETH founder John Birch on their Hamptons showroom which developed out of his family’s deep love for the East End of Long Island. “Here we slow down, relax, commune and connect.” Ahead of the 6 June auction, Birch explains why the Sagaponack space is so special to him.  

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WYETH FOUNDER, JOHN BIRCH IN THE SAGAPONACK STORE.

It was the realisation of a dream when we opened our Sagaponack store in 2009 in a clear, spare and light-suffused structure that we built by hand of simple natural materials in a field surrounded by oak and pine trees. My brothers and I built our shop with love and integrity. We are happy here - the warmth, openness and relaxed aura of the space are in total harmony with all the pieces we admire and celebrate, including furniture and objects crafted in our own workshop.

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AN EXTERIOR SHOT OF THE WYETH STORE IN SAGAPONACK.

The new building opened up fresh possibilities for WYETH, and it was a thrill when we presented our first exhibition celebrating the remarkable body of work of my long-time hero Hans Wegner made in collaboration with the master Danish cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen. We brought together over 100 rare examples and prototypes, and it was a great honor when Wegner’s daughter Marianne journeyed from Denmark to attend the show. I look forward to having more exhibitions in the future in our setting that is so complementary to presenting great design.

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HANS WEGNER, PAIR OF FOLDING CHAIRS, DESIGNED 1949. ESTIMATE $6,000–8,000.

Our wonderful collaboration with Sotheby’s has allowed me to expand and refine my understanding of today’s marketplace and introduce WYETH to a host of new people, in a beautiful and accessible way. I’m deeply grateful to all of the incredible designers and craftsmen, both known and anonymous, whose creations comprise this auction. And as our business enters its third decade, I’m immensely grateful to everyone who has supported WYETH, and encouraged us in our passionate and relentless pursuit of honest quality and beauty in design.

–John Birch, Founder of Wyeth

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