The venue for the London launch of Eye of the Collector will be Two Temple Place – an architectural masterpiece hidden in the heart of central London. The late Victorian neo-Gothic mansion was commissioned in 1892 by financier and statesman William Waldorf Astor, once known as the richest man in the world.
Nazy Vassegh, Founder, Eye of the Collector, says:
“Our creatively driven selling exhibition is designed to showcase works of art as they might be presented in a collector’s home. Two Temple Place, referred to as ‘a perfect gem’ by Nikolaus Pevsner and with its extraordinary history of artistic patronage, really is the embodiment of this joy of collecting. Just as William Waldorf Astor looked to the past and the future, we hope to do the same with our new alternative fair model.”
A celebration of ornamentation and connoisseurship, Two Temple Place contrasts with the vast tents and infinite booths indicative of a traditional art fair. Works of art, design and sculpture from ancient to contemporary will be displayed throughout the principle rooms of the mansion in a curated dialogue with their surroundings. The event aims to create a richly animated, intimate viewing experience steeped in the heritage of a true collector’s home.
Two Temple Place’s striking Great Room, spanning the length of the building on the river front, boasts a 35ft vaulted ceiling, rare stained-glass windows by Clayton and Bell and exquisite gilded paneling by Sir George Frampton and Nathaniel Hitch. Eye of the Collector will also utilise the Staircase Hall, flooded by natural light from a vast stained-glass ceiling and the ornately paneled Library where Astor kept his collections of rare manuscripts.
American-born William Waldorf Astor, once a Manhattan property magnate known as ‘Landlord of New York’ spared no expense commissioning John Loughborough Pearson, founder of Modern Gothic architecture, to create the lavish building to serve as his estate office and private apartment. Pearson brought together eminent master craftsmen of the time, including William Silver Frith, Thomas Nicholls and J. Starkie Gardner, to create an extraordinary and personal commission devoted to William Waldorf’s love of history, art and literature.
Situated on Embankment behind The Strand, Two Temple Place is owned and run by The Bulldog Trust, which was founded in 1983 to act as a catalyst for charitable initiatives.