On Wednesday, January 22, 2014, the Wunsch Americana Foundation honored Dick Jenrette and Classical American Homes Preservation Trust as a co-recipient of the second-annual Eric Martin Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts alongside Linda and George Kaufman, major collectors of Americana. The award ceremony was held at the Rockefeller Center Galleries at Christie’s, New York, where over 200 guests gathered to celebrate the honorees’ dedication to American Arts and their continuation of the legacy of renowned collector, Eric Martin Wunsch.
The Eric Martin Wunsch Award was created by the Wunsch Americana Foundation in the memory of Martin Wunsch to encourage greater scholarship in and appreciation of the American Decorative Arts. Peter Wunsch, Wunsch Americana Foundation President and son of Martin Wunsch, acknowledged the recipients for “their steadfast focus on preserving America’s heritage and making it accessible to so many people to enjoy and learn from.”
Guests mingled over cocktails while weaving through displays of Americana that were to be auctioned off at Christie’s later in the week. To begin the remarks, MorrieHeckscher, the Lawrence A. Fleischman Chairman of the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, spoke about Martin Wunsch’s commitment to American Decorative Arts as a collector, philanthropist and scholar. Mr. Heckscher spoke about four highlighted objects from Martin Wunsch’s collection that will be on loan at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Luke Beckerdite, Executive Director and Curator at the Chipstone Foundation, went on to introduce award recipient Linda Kaufman. Mrs. Kaufman’s highly personal and eloquent speech will not be forgotten by those in attendance, as she clearly demonstrated the passion that she and her late husband, George Kaufman, shared for the American Arts. Introductory remarks about Dick Jenrette were given by Peter Kenny, Curator in the Department of American Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and can be found here. Margize Howell accepted the award on behalf of Dick and CAHPT.
The night was filled with laughter and good cheer among friends and colleagues, and served as a wonderful way to begin a weeklong celebration of American Decorative Arts.
For more information about this award in Antiques and The Arts Weekly, please click here.