Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Social issues of today

Dining al fresco at Cafe Fiorello on Broadway. 2:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018.  Yesterday it was in the low 70s, bright sunshine, and a perfect day weather-wise, in New York.

This is the busiest time in the Spring social season, with the calendar overloaded with events, lectures, gala benefits, not to mention the popular restaurants full up most nights, especially with the weather hinting of a summer coming our way.
Catching up, Two Thursdays ago, the American Museum of Natural History hosted its annual Spring Lunch: Science, Society, and Our Environment. This annual event is moderated by Lynn Sherr.  

This year’s topic was “the depth of the world’s oceans,” which is little understood but with our cutting-edge technology and recent exploration is lending itself to a greater understanding of our planet and beyond. If only we could understand ourselves and our relationship to the oceans.  More and more frequently one reads or sees reports on the pre-fatal pollution our “modern” societies and cultures that has infiltrated our oceans. 

The Spring Lunch’s panel were ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau; marine biologist, scientist and filmmaker Tierney Thys, Murray Fisher, President of the New York Harbor Foundation, and John Sparks, curator at the museum, in the Department of Ichthyology, and curator of their special exhibition Unseen Oceans.  
The Spring Lunch in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.
What is innovative research in oceanic terms? For example, Dr. Sparks, travels the world in search of bioluminescent marine organisms. He focuses his research on the evolution and function of bioluminescence and biofluorescence in marine systems, and the role they play in the diversification of both shallow-reef and deep-sea fishes. He also studies the biogeography of bony fishes, the cavefishes of Madagascar and the evolution of specialized hearing in marine and freshwater fishes.

Mr. Cousteau, an aquanaut, oceanographic explorer and environmental advocate, is well-known for his study of sharks. In  2003-2006, he produced the documentary “Mind of a Demon.” For it he created a 14-foot, 1200 pound lifelike shark submarine named “Troy” that enabled him to immerse himself inside the shark world. His television special “Attack of the Mystery Shark” very much influenced the changing public perceptions about sharks. Four years ago he completed a monumental project, Mission 31, where he and his team lived and worked underwater for 31 days.  In more recent years – and here is the tell – Mr. Cousteau has been working with local communities and children worldwide to help restore local water ecosystems.
Spring Lunch Chair Catherine B. Sidamon-Eristoff introducing Museum President Ellen V. Futter.
Mr. Fisher is the creator of the New York Harbor School and the Billion Oyster Project. Two centuries ago Staten Island had some of the richest oyster beds in the world. Mr. Fisher created the New York Harbor Foundation in order to increase the effort of engaging more people  in restoring New York Harbor.

Ms. Thys’ ocean research focuses on the behavior of giant ocean sunfish and the effects of climate change and by catch. She is well known as a TED All-Star speaker and has produced many TED-Ed lessons.
Panel discussion at The Spring Lunch in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.
The result was a compelling roundtable discussion of the current innovative research.  It was held in the Museum’s Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, and if you’re wondering who would attend a discussion on the subject oceanic and environmental, the vast room was occupied by lunch tables of ten mainly non-scientific professionals, women and men taking advantage, as you can only in New York, of hearing the thoughts and opinions of these extraordinary ocean explorers.

The co-chairmen of this year’s Spring Lunch were Sarah Belz, Kathryn Kempner, Alexandra Mondre, and Catherine Sidamon-Eristoff. All proceeds from the luncheon/panel discussion support the Museum’s scientific research and educational initiatives, including important work in biodiversity conservation.
Moderator Lynn Sherr with panelists Murray Fisher, John Sparks, Fabien Cousteau, and Tierney Thys.
The fourth edition of Art New York at Pier 94 opened last Thursday with a VIP Preview for Hope For Depression and the Joe Namath Foundation. Art being sold to benefit the Joe Namath Foundation included Harry's 1974 photograph of a shirtless Joe on the practice field.
Harry Benson's 1974 photograph of a shirtless Joe on the practice field.
Eight other artists, including Skyler Grey, Bradley Theodore, Mr. Brainwash, Danny Minnick, Jason Newsted, Yigal Ozeri, ABH and Edwin Baker III, also donated works of art inspired by Broadway Joe where 100% of the proceeds from the sales of the works will be donated to the NFL Legend's namesake foundation.

The Joe Namath Foundation, launched in 2017, is a private 501(c)(3) organization which will benefit numerous children's charities and neurological research. For more information on the Joe Namath Foundation visit: www.joenamath.org.
Harry and Joe Namath with Art New York VP Nick Korniloff and artist Jason Newstead, former guitarist for Metallica, at the VIP opening preview at Pier 92 last Thursday.
Harry talking with Adrien Brody, who also donated art work to the charity.
Harry and Jimmy Walsh in front of Harry's photograph to be sold to benefit Joe Namath's Foundation.
Harry with artist Edwina Sandys and French gallery owner Frederic Got. Harry's photograph of Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger is behind them on the wall at the Frederic Got Gallery booth.
More photography for a cause. Last Tuesday night photographer, Adriana Echavarria, hosted a cocktail reception at her home for the Benefit Committee of the Josephine Herrick Project.  JHP is a charity dedicated to helping underserved communities to express themselves through photography. The benefit will be honoring VII Agency, a storied photo agency owned by photojournalists, for its photography of the social issues of today. It will be held this year on June 5th at the downtown venue of Aperture Gallery. Photos by Harry Benson, Saul Leiter, Robert Farber, Klaus Luka and others will be auctioned by Rachel Orkin-Ramey of Christie’s.

Celebrating the upcoming event were Adriana’s mother, Anne Eisenhower, and son, Nicolas Mendoza, along with Harry and Gigi Benson, Saundra Whitney, Tony Bechara, Juan Esteban Orduz of the Colombian Coffee Federation, Philippe Laumont of Laumont Studio, Nadia Malik, Julian Iragorri, and Emmy Nominated photojournalist Ron Haviv.
Harry Benson, Gigi Benson, and Adriana Echavarria
Founded in 1941, the Josephine Herrick Project began as a volunteer service charity that provided free photography programs to veterans.  Today it helps veterans, teens, and people with special needs to transform their lives through the power of photography.  The organization recently partnered with Casita Maria in the Bronx and the Gettysburg Foundation where veterans were treated to a weekend of full emersion photography.

Guests were invited to preview some of the photographs to be auctioned at the event.  Among those admiring the photographs were Cristina Rueda, architect Antonio Saracino, Corinne Arazi, board members Miriam Leuchter, Jackie Augustine, Randy Bourne, and Ron Sharpe; Isabel and Jack Biederman, Michelle Dewey, Melissa Fox, Elizabeth Kelly, Luz Leguisamo and Dr. Lauren Walsh.
Antonio Pio Saracino, Anne Eisenhower, and Corinne Arazi
Dr. Lauren Walsh and Randy Bourne
Nadia Malik and Adriana Echavarria Nicolas Mendoza and Cristina Rueda
Philippe Laumont, Christina Malle, and Erica Reade
Saundra Whitney and Harry Benson
Elizabeth Kelly, Anne Eisenhower, and Julian Iragorri
Juan Esteban Orduz and Michelle Dewey Jackie Augustine and Ron Sharpe
Miriam Leuchter, Tony Bechara, and Adriana Echavarria
Laurel Boylen, Harry Benson, and Melissa Fox
And last but not least, last Thursday, May 3rd, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) hosted the inaugural Opening Night of TEFAF New York Spring at the Park Avenue Armory. The Opening Night offered The Society's members and New York's most notable collectors, philanthropists and leaders in fashion and design an exclusive preview of the fair's sensational pieces before opening to the public.

With a focus on modern and contemporary art & design, TEFAF New York Spring featured 90 internationally acclaimed art galleries and dealers. The fair is recognized for championing the finest art dealers and experts from around the world, as well as providing the highest quality art fair experience. The fair runs through today, May 8th.
A Calder hangs above the Drill Hall on the opening ngith of TEFAF New York Spring.
Proceeds from The Opening Night of TEFAF New York Spring benefit The Society's patient care, research and education programs at MSK. More than 2,000 high profile guests from the fashion, art, philanthropic and design worlds attended this highly anticipated preview, generously sponsored by Natura Bissé and FENDI.

Guests included: Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, Sienna Miller, Leonard, Jo Carole, Aerin and Jane Lauder, Peter Marino, Indre Rockefeller, Lucrezia Buccellati, Sarah Andelman, Casey Fremont Crowe, Gabriella de Givenchy, Jamie Drake, Yosun Reza, Adrienne and Gigi Vittadini, Jamie Tisch, Kate and Andrew Davis, Michael Plummer, Jeff Rabin, Nanne Dekking, Patrick Van Maris Van Dijk, Elena Serra, Tom Postma, Gabriella Moncada, Courtney Smith, Allison Aston, Shabnam and Tom Henry, Virginia W. Tomenson, Annie Taube, Nicole Miller, Urban Karlsson, Harry Macklowe, Patricia Landeau, Muffie Potter Aston, Megan Horstman, Shelley and Michael Carr, Hilary Ross, Nicole Miller, Brent Wilson, Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton, Ugo De Mallmann, Amory W. McAndrew, Kitty and Stephen Sherrill, Tony Ingrao, Melanie Lazenby, Amanda Taylor, Claudia Overstrom, Randy Kemper,  Ruthie Friedlander, and many more.
Jeff Rabin, Michael Plummer, Nanne Dekking, Jane Lauder, Jamee Gregory, and Patrick van Maris van Dijk
Jane Lauder, Jamee Gregory, Fiona Druckenmiller, Jessica Sailer Van Lith, and Caryn Zucker
Aerin Lauder and Jane Lauder Ugo De Mallmann and Gabriella de Givenchy
Laura Munoz, Indre Rockefeller, Paige Stables, and Elena Serra
Jamie Tisch Virginia Tomenson Lucrezia Buccellati
Eleanora and Anna Kennedy
Kate and Andrew Davis Kitty and Stephen Sherrill
Casey Fremont Crowe

Photographs by BFA / Hunter Abrams & Griffin Lipson (TEFAF)

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