America’s Cup Exhibit Opens in Newport, Rhode Island, in June

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The Museum of Yachting and IYRS, a marine trades and technology school in Rhode Island, will host an America’s Cup exhibition this summer at the school’s Newport campus that 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 this international event has given birth to. The exhibit is hosted during a summer when an America’s Cup event returns to Newport. Newport was home to the Cup from 1930 until 1983, when the Australians captured the trophy; the America’s Cup World Series takes place in Newport in late June.

A porcelain ewer in the shape of the America’s Cup, stamped with the dates 1851-1901, will be on view in “The William I. Koch Collection: Art, Artifacts & Memorabilia of the America’s Cup.”

"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."
--Museum of Yachting Curator Jay Picotte

The Museum of Yachting and IYRS, a marine trades and technology school in Rhode Island, will host an America’s Cup exhibition this summer at the school’s Newport campus that 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 this international event has given birth to—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 from June 1 to October 1. The exhibit is comprised entirely from the collection of William I. Koch who has generously loaned these rarely seen, selected objects that cover some 150 years of Cup history, beginning in 1851.

A world-class competitor who has helped steer the course of America’s Cup history, William 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 other world-class 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.

The America’s Cup has a long history in Newport, which was home to the event from 1930 until 1983, when the Australians won the Cup and broke the New York Yacht Club’s 132-year winning record. This summer the final leg of the America’s Cup World Series will take place in Newport, June 26 to July 1.

“The William I. Koch Collection: Art, Artifacts & Memorabilia of the America’s Cup” opens June 1 at the IYRS/Museum of Yachting Library, located at 449 Thames Street in Newport (R.I.). Exhibit hours are Tuesdays – Saturdays, 12 pm – 5 pm; closed Sunday & Monday. There is no admission charge.

For more information about the exhibit, visit http://www.iyrs.org or call 401-848-5777, ext 222.

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Cynthia Goss
IYRS
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