ART FOR ART’S SAKE
The crowd on the early shuttle from New York to Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning was not the typical group of policy wonks and media pundits.
“I knew half the people on the plane,” said Chuck Close that night at a White House dinner for Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies. Ellsworth Kelly, for instance, was a couple of rows back on the flight, all trim in suit and tie. “It was like an episode of ‘This Is Your Life.’ But of course, I couldn’t remember most of their names.”
The two-day endurance test of lunches, dinners, breakfasts and receptions to benefit FAPE had kicked off that afternoon at the State Department, where chairman Jo Carole Lauder, Ann Gund and Leonore Annenberg greeted Daisy Soros, Lucky Roosevelt, Betsy Bloomingdale, Bootsie Galbraith and some 200 others for lunch.
Alan Greenspan gave the keynote speech — a long, academic discourse on the economic theory of Austrian Joseph Schumpeter.
“Well, he certainly didn’t talk down to us,” clucked Buffy Caifritz. The one Schumpeterian idea that especially caught the attention of the high-powered crowd was “creative destruction.”
“You’re gonna hear a lot more about him,” promised Greenspan later.
That night, the gang of Friends moved on to the White House to sip chardonnay beneath portraits of former presidents with Robert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella.
Christo’s partner, Jeanne-Claude, wanted something a little stiffer.
“What do you mean, the’s no scotch in the house?” she demanded in disbelief when told her request of scotch and soda was impossible. “Are you telling me I’ll have to send a check to the White House in the morning so that someone can buy a bottle of scotch for the guests?”
After dessert was served, Close unveiled a limited-edition print of the late Roy Lichtenstein he donated to FAPE.
“This image won’t hang quietly on a wall,” he said. “It’s grim, but there are grim portraits of people in every federal building across the world.”