Annual Cocktail Reception + Fine Art Auction

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

St. Regis Hotel in New York

On Tuesday, April 30, 2019 the American Friends of Museums in Israel hosted our Annual Cocktail Reception + Fine Art Auction + VIP Dinner in the St. Regis Hotel, New York.

As guests entered the famous suite of rooms that were the former private residence of John Jacob Astor IV, they were greeted by a massive framed pigment print (Ori Gersht) that towered over them at almost seven and a half feet tall, a bronze and blue stone sculpture of a waterfall (Bryan Hunt), a photographic scene from the dying Dead Sea (Spencer Tunick) and world-famous Floating Piers in Lake Iseo, Italy from Christo.

And that was just the very tip of the art-iceberg that followed. In the remaining rooms were works by over forty-five artists that spanned multiple countries and mediums. Works from The Netherlands, France, Italy and across the United States were presented around the perimeter of the rooms from oil on paper, canvas works, digital paintings and sculptures, to prints, watercolors, photographs and collages. While guests tasted the deliciously arranged passed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails they were quite literally surrounded by art.

David Genser, Chairman of the American Friends, took to the stage and thanked the attendees for their participation and everyone involved in creating the beautiful benefit evening. Mr. Genser welcomed Nissim Tal, the Director General of the Haifa Museums, who oversees the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, The National Maritime Museum, The Hermann Struck and Mane Katz Museums, the Haifa City and Haifa Museum of Art. From the Tower of David Jerusalem Museum, Rose Ginosar, Director of External Relations, was also introduced. The Tower of David spreads over 2.5 acres with glorious views of Jerusalem from its citadel towers. It contains exhibition rooms and galleries exploring 3000 years of Jerusalem’s history.

Mr. Genser had the pleasure of recognizing the artist Desirée Dolron who graciously donated a special limited edition from her internationally acclaimed XTERIORS series. Her works are held in numerous international public and private collections including the Guggenheim Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and others around the globe. After the presentation, Lucas Hunt of Hunt Auctioneers, took over and the live auction began. Excitement was high as the over 200-bidders in the room had the chance to own a Damien Hirst, digital print on aluminum panel, a Balloon Swan by Jeff Koons, Alex Katz’s Ada in Spain, a classic abstract lithograph by Sam Francis and an original watercolor of Tom Blackwell’s iconic motorcycle. Mr. Hunt urged the attendees to bid high and often and they did - - all live lots sold quickly.

Immediately following the cocktail reception + fine art auction, the evening’s celebrations continued with a special VIP Dinner. Our partner museum directors and representatives were in attendance as well as artists, Board Members and those close to our organization.

Members of the Benefactors Committee include: Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York, Moti Amihai-Bivas, Consul for Cultural Affairs; Honie and Jerry Berko, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan A. Bernstein; Donna Calcaterra, Barak & Yael Dunayer, Kenneth A. Friedman & Co., Joan and David Genser; Oded Halahmy Foundation for the Arts, Karen & David Mandelbaum, Carolina Nitsch, Amy and George Roland, Betty Schwarz, Rabbi Barton and Jane Shallat, Janet and Jack Teich, and Jacky Teplitzky & Yossef Dudgar.

The fine art auctions included works by: Jeff Koons, Donald Sultan, Damien Hirst, John Baldessari, Marcello Lo Giudice, Anish Kapoor, David Hockney, Arman, John DeAndrea, Christo, Ed Ruscha, Chris Succo, Audrey Keeperman, Ori Gersht, Annie Leibovitz, Sam Francis, Nan Goldin, Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Mickalene Thomas, Tom Blackwell, Helmut Newton, Chuck Close, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Petra Cortright, Richard Serra, Alex Katz, Louis Cane, Bryan Hunt, Spencer Tunick, Analia Saban, Todd Hido, William Eggleston, Hermann Struck, Francesca Pasquali, Koen Vanmechelen, Robert Kushner, Massimo Vitali, Iván Navarro, Clayton Calvert, Lili Almog, Mark Dion, Olaf Breuning, Parker Calvert, and William Wegman.

Photos by Maggie Marguerite Studio