The Private Collection of Jayne Wrightsman
I wrote about philanthropist and art collector Jayne Wrightsman who died April 2019 at the age of 99 and her home at 820 Fifth Avenue last fall. Mrs. Wrightman was a scholar of 18th-century art and furniture and had an eye for the best pieces. Now many of her furnishings and art will be sold at Christie’s October 2020 during Classic Week in New York. “The Private Collection of Jayne Wrightsman auctions will include Old Master paintings and sculpture, European furniture and ceramics, Chinese ceramics and works of art, silver and carpets, and other items. Mrs. Wrightsman lived with these items in her elegant home at 820 Fifth Avenue in New York and designated them for sale to benefit philanthropic causes.” The auction was to take place in April 2020 with a tour of pieces to take place but that was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Mrs. Wrightsman and her husband Charles moved into the full third floor apartment in 1956 and worked with some of the most esteemed interior designers over the years. Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen created a show place for their collection of 18th-century French furniture and noted art collection. The boiseries (wood paneling) in the apartment also came from France and you can see the others they collected in the Wrightsman Galleries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Henri Samuel helped design those galleries updated the New York apartment as well as their Palm Beach home.
“The New York apartment was a reflection of her ongoing curiosity,” says Bonnie Brennan of Christie’s, who visited on a number of occasions. “Ms. Wrightsman was always looking at what was new and fresh while maintaining that commitment to tradition.”