Jackson Hole, WY – WRJ Design has transformed Sotheby’s New York exhibition space into an evocative exploration of the Netherlands during the 17th century for the April 17 to 21 exhibition of the Weldon Collection, an important assemblage of Dutch and Flemish paintings collected by the late Henry and June “Jimmy” Weldon. The collection, valued at an estimated $30 million, will be sold at auction on April 22, 2015.
WRJ, based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has designed more than 40 exhibitions for Sotheby’s, including such recognizable names as Laurance Rockefeller, Katharine Hepburn, Brooke Astor, Bill Blass, and most recently the “Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon.” Still, “every collection is different and what we design reflects the unique character of that collection and the individuals who cultivated it,” says Rush Jenkins, CEO and owner of WRJ Design with COO Klaus Baer. “For the Weldon Collection, we drew inspiration from the paintings themselves, a rare gathering of miniature Dutch masterpieces.”
Drawing on their experience creating a dark palette for the Sotheby’s exhibit of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” WRJ used black and charcoal juxtaposed with white to emphasize light and shadow, bringing an intensity of focus to the Weldons’ jewel-like paintings. “These colors also mirror the Dutch Masters’ somber palette, reflective of the time period often described as a mini Ice Age marked by long, deep winters,” explains Jenkins. “The dark skies came through in their paintings, rich with chiaroscuro. We recreated this moody ambience in our design.”
Passionate New York art collectors Henry and Jimmy Weldon began their collecting journey in the 1960s with an initial focus on 17th-century Dutch and Flemish works by Balthasar Van der Ast, Rachel Ruysch and Ambrosius Bosschaert. Over decades of collecting, their taste broadened, with remarkable gems from the Weldon Collection sale including an early still life by German artist Ludger Tom Ring the Elder and an extraordinary collaborative work by Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Younger.
“An exhibition should unfold like a story, with a sense of discovery present at every turn,” says Jenkins, who, before founding WRJ with Baer, was Director of Design for Sotheby’s New York. “Through visual imagery and text we will walk people through this profound period in art history as organized through six over-arching themes. The architecture aids in the exploration. You don’t see the entire exhibit all at once – each theme, each story, each painting unfolds as a chapter.”
About WRJ Design:
Inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds their Jackson, Wyoming headquarters, WRJ imparts the special harmony and serenity of its Teton setting to interior designs in Jackson Hole and across the country. Begun out of a passion for great design by Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer, WRJ creates experiences and environments through their designs, whether for interiors or exhibitions, that combine a sense of discovery with timeless reflections of the owners or collectors. WRJ’s exhibition designs for titans of philanthropy, fashion, music and politics provide insight into the lives of these luminaries as they showcase the objects they loved. www.wrjdesign.com.