And then, Monday night(or should I say “Monday evening…”?), The Frick Collection was hosting their annual Autumn Dinner this year at the Metropolitan Club (because the Frick is undergoing an expansion of their space). They honored Marina Kellen French.
It’s a special evening to celebrate the institution and its enduring legacy. When it occurs at the mansion it is one of the great social experiences in New York. By social I mean where people congregate. Because of its historical reference in New York lives. And all the while you’re surrounded with astounding art of the last five centuries. And you’re dining in the fashion of it. If you notice. You’re sitting in history, and you’re alive too!
The black-tie event raises vital funds to support the many important activities of the museum and Frick Art Reference Library, including conservation, education programs, and special exhibitions.
This year they honored Marina Kellen French, a loyal friend to The Frick Collection for many years.
Ms. French has been a member of the Frick’s Director’s Circle since 2013. She has actively supported the museum’s acquisitions program and, year after year, has donated to its most important benefit events, including the Autumn Dinner and Spring Garden Party.
As vice president of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation—named for her parents, themselves notable patrons of the arts—she supported the Frick’s landmark exhibition, Luigi Valadier: Splendor in Eighteenth-Century Rome.
In 2019, Ms. French directed a generous gift from the foundation to the Campaign for the Frick, which named the museum’s directorship in her parents’ honor. For decades, she has dedicated herself to supporting educational, medical, and arts and cultural institutions that enrich the lives of countless individuals.
A native New Yorker and alumna of Brearley, the private girl’s school which is across the street from my building, she then attended the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She serves on the boards of several of the city’s most prominent arts organizations — including Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, and TEFAF Art Fair — and sits on the executive board of the Hospital for Special Surgery.
She is a trustee emerita of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and a life trustee at both the Morgan Library & Museum and WNET Channel 13. In addition to the Frick’s directorship, Ms. French has named the positions of artistic director of the Park Avenue Armory and director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In recognition of her commitment to sustaining the city’s cultural vitality, she was honored in 2021 as a “Living Landmark” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
Betty Eveillard, Chair of the Frick’s Board of Trustees, welcomed guests and toasted Ms. French for her remarkable support of the arts and her long-standing dedication to the Frick.
As the evening began, after the main course, Ian Wardropper, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director, toasted Ms. French for her remarkable support of the arts and her long-standing dedication to the Frick and its exhibition and acquisitions programs, benefit events, and renovation and enhancement project. After Ms. French spoke, she was presented with a commemorative silver tray from Christofle.