| On May 17, 2010, Michèle Gerber Klein and Fiona Donovan, co-chairs of the Library Fellows of the Whitney Museum of American Art invited members and their friends to an “End of Year Celebration” in the New York City studio and home of contemporary artist Michele Oka Doner and her husband Frederick Doner.
During the cocktail reception at the Mercer Street duplex loft, Library Fellows and friends explored Oka Doner’s studio, which was filled with works in progress. The library has shelves of books on art, philosophy, and nature as well as several well-worn years of the National Geographic. The living room is punctuated with Doner’s celebrated ceramics, wax sculpture, metal sculptures, furniture and pieces collected from nature as well as a tabletop display of artifacts.
Michèle, who is known for her fashion writing as well as her support for the arts, introduced the evening. “The Whitney's Library is at the heart of every Museum exhibition, and it documents the story of American art. The Library Fellows provide essential support for our Library and sponsor an ongoing calendar of stimulating events.”
She introduced her friend Michele Oka Doner, who talked about her own library. “I’ve had some of these books since I was five. They’re like a collage, annotated.” She went on to say that the library included books her children made and that she made.
Dinner was catered by “At Your Service,” which included roasted asparagus, potatoes au gratin, salad and a poached salmon encrute with brown rice and spinach”.
Guests included Joanne Cassullo, Chauncie McKeever, Peter M. Wolf, Ilona and Chad Oppenheim, Michel Witmer, Ann and Alfred Ruesch, Mike Latham, Steve and Sandy Abramson, Susan Kappa, Joan and Marc Sherman, Johan Stylander, Loreen Arbus, Alexander Campos, Marysol Nieves, Aaron Yassin, Betty Stolten, Karen Huang, Carol Rusk, Michele Snyder, Dana Buckley, Stephanie Adams, Emma Hall, Hanneke Enthoven, Barbara Dalio, Hikari, Joost Elffers, Kathleen Giordano, Sarah Milestone, Matt Zucker, Isotpa Meoni, Roz Jacobs, Laurel Cutler, Ted Israel, Susan Inglett, David Platzker, Waquas Wajahat, Spring Dautel, Spencer Tomkins, Tarra Reddi, Joan Hardy Clark and Ivy Blackman.
The evening was one of those special New York nights when you learn the value of a group like the Library Fellows and how important they are to institutions like the Whitney Museum of American Art.