Art lovers and environmental enthusiasts trekked to Sotheby’s Upper East Side headquarters in Manhattan on Feb. 6 for Art for Water Benefitting Waterkeeper Alliance.
Hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who chairs the nonprofit aimed at protecting nearly 2.5 million miles of waterways around the globe, the cocktail party featured a live and silent auction of works donated by well-known artists including Dustin Yellin and Jeff Koons — both in attendance.
“I really don’t have any interest in [making a piece of art about President Trump],” Koons told WWD at the arty soiree. “What I do have interest in is making things that I believe empower people.”
The large-format photo “Girl With Dolphin and Monkey,” donated by Koons sold to the highest bidder for $52,000 at the lively auction, which was attended by designer Nicole Miller and former tennis pro John McEnroe, among others. Proceeds from the evening raised nearly $700,000 for the organization.
Cheryl Hines joined her husband, RFK Jr., in support Monday night. The Emmy-winner hoped to catch some shows at the upcoming New York Fashion Week, but was due to fly back to Los Angeles Thursday to resume filming the latest season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which last aired in 2011.
“Everybody [on the show] is the same,” Hines said with a laugh as she sipped a tequila cocktail. “Nobody has learned anything, nobody has grown, nobody has changed. It’s just as crazy as it was.”
Across the crowded gallery, Kerry Kennedy floated in a floor-length blue denim frock as she chatted about her personal art collection.
“When I was in college, my roommate worked for Andy Warhol and at that time I really, really loved to play pinball,” said the president of the RFK Human Rights organization. “So for my [20th or 21st] birthday, he drew me a picture of a pinball machine — that’s my favorite [piece of art].”
But it was a recently unearthed letter from her late father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, that the philanthropist holds among her most treasured personal effects.
“When we sold Hickory Hill, which is the home in Virginia that we lived in for over 50 years, I was cleaning out some files in our basement and came across a sealed letter to me from my father. It was from the day that Uncle Jack [President John F. Kennedy] died and it was on White House stationary.”
Dated Nov. 22, 1963, the now framed letter explained to then 4-year-old Kennedy the “responsibility” she had “to Uncle Jack, Uncle Joe [Kennedy, Jr.], and to the country and to work towards peace.”
Kennedy was awestruck that her father, who was assassinated while campaigning for president in 1968, maintained composure in the midst of chaos.
“In that moment of such extraordinary pain and overwhelming grief and uncertainty for our country, he sat down and wrote letters to each of his children,” noted Kennedy. “How about that?”