I’ve had the pleasure of working with Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts in many different capacities (my first job in NYC!) over the past 9 years, and I was so happy to photograph their recent Awards dinner honoring O. Kelley Anderson. Over 200 attendees at the stunning Metropolitan Club celebrated Kelley and raised funds for FRIENDS. FRIENDS is a non-profit that does incredible work to maintain the historic buildings on the Upper East Side and fights for appropriate zoning to keep a strong sense of place. They also run an amazing architecture and NYC history program that reaches over 1,500 first and second graders each year on the UES and East Harlem. Basically, they keep our city and neighborhoods from developing into a vast wasteland of charmless megatowers, while training a young generation of preservationist and historians. Yay for that!
Here’s a bit about Kelley:
Kelley began his professional life on Wall Street, but in the middle of a successful career, realized his true calling in the art world. For 25 years, Kelley was a director at the Coe Kerr Gallery, one of the premier dealers of American art. Founded in partnership with the collector Frederick Woolworth, the Coe Kerr Gallery exhibited such renowned artists as Andrew Wyeth, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and Andy Warhol. In 1989 Kelley founded The Art Show, the first art fair of its kind in New York City. Presented by the Art Dealers Association of America, the show drew more than 12,000 visitors, including top collectors, to the Park Avenue Armory, and raised thousands for the Henry Street Settlement. The Art Show continues to this day, setting the standards of excellence with museum-quality exhibitions.
As a member of FRIENDS board for over two decades, serving as Treasurer since 1996, Kelley has contributed enormously to protecting this community’s historic character and quality of life. Kelley has also been a vital member of the leadership team of the Knickerbocker Club since 2003, including three years as its President, and has been a loyal supporter of the Museum of the City of New York, the Municipal Art Society, and the Central Park Conservancy.
I was also honored to hold a portrait session this past spring with the honoree to create the cover image for the benefit invitation. We were able to capture Kelley among his art collection as well as on his own beloved East 73rd Street, which he and FRIENDS successfully fought to add to the historic district. Here are some from our portrait session, as well as some from the amazing event!