Going once: Cape Cod Modern Trust’s benefit auction is a truly worthy cause

The Hatch House by Bara Jichova
The Cape Cod Modern Trust has dedicated itself to preserving and restoring modern houses in the region since 2007. Its fundraising auction, which will see art works by emerging and established artists up for grabs, will allow it to continue its efforts. Pictured: The Hatch House by Bara Jichova
(Image credit: Press)

The charms of Cape Cod, Massachusetts are undoubtedly well documented. From being the summer sojourn of choice for storied American families to its bounty of fresh oysters, lobsters and clams, which continues to enthrall year after year, the Cape pretty much sums up what’s good in life.

Lesser known is the outer region’s heritage of midcentury modern architecture, which attracted architects including Marcel Breuer, Serge Chermayeff and Olaf Hammerstrom, who produced a slew of houses for themselves, friends and clients from the late 1930s. Tucked in amongst the beaches, tidal marshes and woods by the seashore, these cottages welcomed guests like Walter Gropius, the Saarinen family and Florence and Hans Knoll - just some of the creative regulars who journeyed to the Cape.

After laws were passed to create the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961, which effectively prevented any new development, all homes falling into the national park lines were bought out and slated for demolition. Of over 100 of these houses, seven are exemplary modern ones. Left mostly abandoned and poorly maintained, they sank into derelict form. That is until the Cape Cod Modern Trust came along.

Founded in 2007, the Trust is committed to preventing these modern houses from being demolished while restoring and repurposing its structures for study. Under its stewardship, the Hatch House designed by Jack Hall in 1961 and the Weidlinger House by Paul Weidlinger (1953) have both been returned to their former glory.

Next week on 30 October, the Cape Cod Modern Trust will host a benefit auction in New York City, which will raise funds to continue its superior preservation efforts and support its own programming, including public education and artist residencies. The auction will present Cape Cod-inspired works by both established (Anni Albers, Laszlo Maholy-Nagy) and emerging (Bara Jichova, Mattias Kessler) artists – many with ties to the region- up for grabs. But probably best of all is the door prize of a three-night stay in one of the restored houses in June 2016. Advance bidding is now available at Paddle 8.

Lavender Mist

The auction’s roster of featured artists have a close ties either to Cape Cod or the modernist movement. Pictured: Lavender Mist, by James Welling

(Image credit: James Welling)

Yellow textured artwork

Advance bidding is currently available on Paddle8.com. Bidding will conclude via silent auction at the event. Pictured: W/Co, by Anni Albers

(Image credit: Anni Albers)

Looking Out to Sea painting

Pictured: Looking Out to Sea, by Peter Watts

(Image credit: Press)

First Round by Bailey Bob Bailey artwork

Pictured: First Round by Bailey Bob Bailey

(Image credit: Bailey Bob Bailey)

Weidlinger House by Paul Weidlinger

Under the Trust’s stewardship, the Weidlinger House by Paul Weidlinger (1953) has been restored to its former glory

(Image credit: Kent Dayton)

The living room of the Weidlinger House

The living room of the Weidlinger House

(Image credit: Kent Dayton)

A bedroom at the Weidlinger House

A bedroom at the Weidlinger House

(Image credit: Kent Dayton)

kitchen of the Weidlinger House

The kitchen of the Weidlinger House

(Image credit: Kent Dayton)

Jack Hall’s Hatch House exterior

Jack Hall’s Hatch House, built in 1961, has also been recently restored

(Image credit: Kent Dayton)

Views from within the Hatch House

Views from within the Hatch House

(Image credit: Antoine Lorgnier)

Hatch House interiors

A three-night stay at one of the restored houses is being offered as a door prize during the auction. It could be the Hatch House (pictured here)

(Image credit: Antoine Lorgnier)


Cape Cod Modern Trust benefit auction will be held on 30 October. Tickets are $100. A preview of the auction and advance bidding is now available on Paddle8.com through 30 October. Bidding will conclude via silent auction on-site at the event


Greene Naftali Gallery
508 West 26th Street
New York


Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.