The International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) and the Museum of Yachting will host an America’s Cup exhibition this summer at the school’s Newport campus, which looks at this historic event from a unique vantage point. “The William I. Koch Collection: Art, Artifacts & Memorabilia of the America’s Cup” is an exhibition of the fine art, artifacts and other objects the America’s Cup has spawned, from paintings by leading maritime artists, to gifts given within the rarefied social circles of those who competed for the trophy, to memorabilia and everyday items that were available to fans and consumers.
“Many America’s Cup exhibits tell the story of the event by focusing on who won and who lost,” said Museum of Yachting curator Jay Picotte. “Thanks to the generosity of William Koch, we have the great opportunity to tell a different story—to look at the America’s Cup as a cultural phenomenon by displaying the art and artifacts that sprung up because of the vast popularity of this sporting event.”
The exhibition will include fine paintings, rare books, silver, photography and historic memorabilia and will be on display until October 1, 2012.
Koch is well known in the world of sailing for his intense passion for the sport that led to winning the 1992 America’s Cup and developing the historic all-women’s team for the 1995 America’s Cup. Among his notable sailing titles are two Maxi Yacht World Championships, in 1990 and 1991. Koch is equally well known for his passion as an art collector that has led to a diverse assemblage of paintings and sculptures, which includes works by Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Modigliani, Picasso and other leading artists; a collection representing the history of America’s West; and an exceptional wine cellar. Items from Koch’s collections have been shown at many leading museums, including the Louvre in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach.