KHALIL RIZK MEMORIAL
NEW YORK — Funeral services were held on Friday at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity here for Khalil Rizk. A leading art dealer and philanthropist, Rizk died on April 26 in Salzburg, Austria, where he had been attending a music festival, following complications from pancreatitis. He was 48 and resided in Manhattan.
Several hundred mourners attended the services, including virtually every socially prominent figure in Manhattan society. Born in Beirut, Lebanon to a wealthy family, Rizk came to the U.S. in 1975. In 1985, he founded the Chinese Porcelain Co. with Pierre Durand, his longtime partner.
The affection felt for Rizk, and the shock at his sudden death, was evident as many mourners erupted into tears as they paid their respects to Rizk’s parents, Iside and Riad Risk; his sister, Joumana Han, and Durand.
Over the years, Rizk regularly organized scholarly exhibitions in his Park Avenue gallery that earned him a reputation as one of the world’s great dealers of Asian antiquities. Through his zest for entertaining, Rizk also rose to the very top of society. In addition to frequent dinners at his Upper East Side town house, Rizk often took over such venues as the Knickerbocker Club and Mortimers. Whenever or wherever Rizk entertained, he did it ravishingly, with great imagination and generosity. After Rizk hosted a lavish dinner dance — a ball, in fact — at the Knickerbocker in December 1999 that drew the top drawer of international society, many present decided Rizk was the new Brooke Astor.
Rizk’s well-known attention to detail was evident in the last large gathering he organized, when he invited hundred of friends a few weeks ago to an evening at the Frick Collection to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Chinese Porcelain Collection. After a typically splendid evening, every guest was given a magnificently bound printed book that illustrated his prized pieces, “A Dealer’s Record: 1985-2000.” Inside, Rizk had inscribed each one to every guest personally.