New York — The Macallan has unveiled The Anecdotes of Ages Collection, a limited-release whisky and art collection with renowned British pop artist, Sir Peter Blake. The Anecdotes of Ages Collection celebrates the legacy and history of Sir Peter Blake and The Macallan.
At the heart of the esteemed collection are 13 one-of-a-kind bottles of exceptional 1967 whisky, chosen for its classic yet distinctly colorful character representative of the year that Sir Peter Blake’s collage style transcended the art world into pop culture. Each individual bottle features its own original Sir Peter Blake collage art on the label, detailing unique stories relating to The Macallan’s history, community, and the beautiful natural landscape of The Macallan Estate. One of the original bottles will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in support of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s diversity, equity, access, and inclusion initiatives.
Collaborating with Sir Peter Blake for more than three decades, this esteemed collection is a natural partnership: The Macallan holds a deep appreciation for the time it takes to establish, nurture, and protect heritage as well as a desire to produce iconic creations and legendary pieces, and these values of timelessness are mirrored in both the character and work of Sir Peter Blake.
Over the decades, Sir Peter Blake’s unique and timeless signature style has transcended fashion, music, and art movements. For this collection, each bottle of whisky was carefully selected and the art labels that Sir Peter Blake created are of the finest caliber, designed to resonate with The Macallan collectors and the world of art. Sir Peter Blake deftly applies his particular mix of styles, from colorful lettering to likeness drawing, to various projects—most recently, the building wrap for Hyde Parks Mandarin Oriental Hotel, his largest yet, and his current project ‘Joseph Cornell’s Holiday,’ a series of crowd collages that continue the life of a fellow collagist.
“I am deeply inspired by the incredible legacy of The Macallan, and its emphasis on family, tradition, and the natural world,” said Sir Peter Blake. “Each collage in The Anecdotes of Ages Collection is inspired by The Macallan’s history and heritage, one that respects time and craft, two essential components of my own creative process. I meticulously worked on each collage, pulling from The Macallan Estate’s rich history to complete a collection that is a celebration of art and whisky.”
Each of the 13 original Anecdotes of Ages bottles are hand-blown with an oak stopper, and feature a label signed by Sir Peter Blake. Presented in a handcrafted European oak case incorporating thumbnail photography revealing Sir Peter Blake’s inspirational journey with The Macallan, the expressions are also accompanied by a leather-bound book showcasing all 13 label artworks and corresponding stories, as well as a certificate of authenticity. While the 13th original bottle will be retained in The Macallan archive, a highly limited edition whisky featuring a duplicate label and the same rare 1967 whisky, will be released as The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition. Only 322 bottles will be available worldwide for an SRP of $83,000.
“This exceptional 1967 whisky was chosen for its classic yet distinctively colorful character, which is reminiscent of Sir Peter Blake’s work of the same year,” said Sarah Burgess, The Macallan Lead Whisky Maker. “With notes of oak and fig leading to a burst of hazelnut and strawberry, this is a truly special single malt that finishes with complex flavors of chocolate and lightly spiced peach. It is in many ways, its own work of art.”
To round out the collection, a specially created whisky inspired by The Macallan and Sir Peter Blake’s shared appreciation of beauty, nature and legacy – An Estate, A Community and A Distillery – will be sold for an SRP of $1,200 displayed in a custom box inspired by Sir Peter Blake’s art, alongside a certificate outlining the art’s history and heritage, and Sir Peter Blake’s artwork printed on a scroll.
The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Virtual Art Exhibit, is a virtual exploration where art and whisky enthusiasts from around the world have an opportunity to digitally explore The Anecdotes of Ages Collection. Consisting of three galleries, this 360 virtual environment is part of a global trend that sees the expansion of digital art experiences.
Digital attendees of The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Virtual Art Exhibit will begin their journey in the Sir Peter Blake studio where they will learn about his famous pioneering pop art and collage style. Next, they will explore the Anecdotes of Ages gallery, showcasing the inspiration behind each of the artworks that Blake created to tell the story of 13 bottles of The Macallan—from The Macallan’s spiritual home at Easter Elchies Estate to the new Distillery and Visitor Experience—before the world reveal of the bottles with Sir Peter Blake’s handcrafted and original label artwork.
In March 2021, Sotheby’s will host a live auction where one of the 13 original bottles of The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection will be sold to raise funds to benefit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Support from The Macallan will advance efforts underway at the Guggenheim to increase free access and develop engagement with a variety of audiences, in alignment with the museum’s diversity, equity, access, and inclusion initiatives.
Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine remarked “We are delighted to continue our long association of partnering with The Macallan to present very special releases that raise funds for charitable organizations around the world. The Anecdotes of Ages Collection provides the perfect intersection where Sir Peter Blake’s distinct collage art meets the art of creating great whisky, with proceeds supporting diverse audience engagement and free access at the Guggenheim Museum. This unique auction, of one of the 13 bottles with original collage art, will appeal to whisky enthusiasts, art lovers, and philanthropists alike.”
To view The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Virtual Art Exhibit, please enter themacallan.com/virtual-art-exhibit.
Whisky Maker’s Notes:
Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition
Color: Caramelized peach
Aroma: Classic antique oak, dried fruit and fig combined with hints of pineapple and mango layered with a decadent chocolate strawberry note.
Palate: Warm chocolate with light nutmeg and ginger, oak spices and sweet oak opening into pineapple and coconut with an unexpected strawberry and hazelnut burst
Finish: Complex with a medium to long finish of chocolate, sweet oak and lightly spiced peach
An Estate, A Community and A Distillery
Aroma: Rich in dried fruits and spices with a hint of orange and clove
Palate: Dried fruits with cracked black pepper and treacle, accents of vanilla and orange oil
Finish: A long, rich oak finish with cinnamon and cacao
About The Macallan
Founded in 1824, The Macallan is renowned worldwide for its extraordinary single malt whiskies. Their outstanding quality and distinctive character reveal the uncompromised excellence pursued by The Macallan since it was established by Alexander Reid, on a plateau above the River Spey in north-east Scotland.
In 2018, The Macallan opened a new chapter in its history with the launch of its award-winning Speyside distillery. Designed by internationally acclaimed architects to promote sustainability, the building takes inspiration from the surrounding ancient Scottish hills. It stands nearby Easter Elchies House, the Highland Manor built in 1700 which is The Macallan’s spiritual home and remains the heartbeat of The Macallan’s beautiful 485-acre Estate.
About Sir Peter Blake
Sir Peter Blake (b. 1932, Dartford, Kent) is a British painter, sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker. He is known as one of the leading figures of British Pop art. Peter Blake studied at Gravesend School of Art before being accepted into the Royal College of Art, London, where he studied alongside other key British Pop artists, David Hockney, R.B. Kitaj, Joe Tilson, Allen Jones, Peter Phillips and Derek Boshier. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1956, Blake began to appropriate pop culture icons and advertising imagery to create homages to the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Elvis Presley and professional wrestlers. His iconic 1961 ‘Self-portrait with Badges’, in the Tate Collection, shows Blake holding an Elvis album, dressed in American jeans, Converse trainers, and baseball badges; here is the artist as a genuine fan. In other works, he composes assemblages of found objects with humorous allusions to art history and childhood fantasies. In 1967 he designed the iconic album cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in his distinctive style of collage. Blake continues to be associated with the music world by designing album covers. In 1975 Blake co-founded the Brotherhood of Ruralists, a group of artists who moved to Somerset to build an artistic community outside of the city.
After completing his National Service with the RAF, he received the Leverhulme Research Award to study popular art and travelled through Europe 1956–7. Blake’s first solo exhibition was held in 1962 at Portal Gallery, London; solo shows followed at Robert Fraser Gallery, London (1965) and at Leslie Waddington Prints, London (1969). His first retrospective exhibition was held in 1969 at the City Art Gallery, Bristol. Subsequent retrospectives were held in 1973 at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, touring to Hamburg and Brussels and the Tate Gallery in 1983. In 1994 he was made the Third Associate Artist of the National Gallery, London. Peter Blake was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1981, and was knighted in 2002. In 2007 the Tate Liverpool held a major retrospective of Peter Blake’s work which toured to the Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, Spain in 2008. In 2010, Lund Humphries published Peter Blake: One Man Show, a comprehensive monograph by Marco Livingstone.
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Sotheby’s Wine’s has had the privilege of auctioning numerous record-breaking wines and spirits in recent years, with 2020 alone witnessing new world auction records for any bottle of Japanese whisky, any bottle of whisky produced by the Dalmore Distillery, as well as any bottle of Cognac. Sotheby’s Wine currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most expensive bottle of spirits ever sold at auction.
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About the Guggenheim
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was established in 1937 and is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The international constellation of museums comprises the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. An architectural icon and “temple of spirit” where radical art and architecture meet, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is among a group of eight Frank Lloyd Wright structures in the United States recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. To learn more about the museum and the Guggenheim’s activities around the world, visit guggenheim.org.
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