Remembering Metropolitan Museum's John O'Keefe - New York News

Remembering Metropolitan Museum's John O'Keefe

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

John O'Keefe, who died in June, was the smiling face of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He spent 25 years showing it to the rich and famous like actresses Margaret O'Brien and Gloria Swanson. O'Keefe worked as the museum's public relations adviser on several fronts. He is most remembered for launching Friday and Saturday nights at the Met.

It's now a New York City tradition; visitors enjoy cocktails, live classical music and wander through the exhibits.

"He emphasized the romance in Friday and Saturday nights, it really was one of the things that made his reputation," said Harold Holzer, the senior vice president for public affairs at the museum. He said O'Keefe helped make the Met one of the premier museum merchandisers in the world.

"Reproductions became part of the Met tradition, now almost taken for granted at every museum," he added. "John was on the road promoting that."

O'Keefe was known as New York City's PR man. He worked for Robert Moses and helped promote the 1964 World's Fair. In the 1970s, O'Keefe served as the vice president of public relations for Lincoln Center.

But his career at the Met brought two of his favorite things together: art and people.

With all of the beauty in the Met, O'Keefe's favorite section was the European paintings. Many days he would sit down on the benches and take in the paintings.

"He was just extraordinary," Holzer said. "Being charming, and being a great representative of the museum."

The museum plans to honor O'Keefe with a dinner at his favorite Brooklyn restaurant this fall.

O'Keefe is survived by his two sisters. He was 84.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Summit at City Hall on police-community relations

    Summit at City Hall on police-community relations

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:06 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:06:56 GMT
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City is at the center of a summit being held on Thursday. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders are attending the round table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island prompted the discussion.
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City is at the center of a summit being held on Thursday. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders are attending the round table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island prompted the discussion.
  • Falling debris from Midtown building

    Falling debris from Midtown building

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:19 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:19:35 GMT

    Emergency personnel are responding to falling debris from a high-rise building in Midtown Manhattan. West 57th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues is closed. SkyFoxHD was overhead where pieces of glass could be seen on the ground and a window shattered. Two people were hit by the falling glass at about 8:45 a.m. and were taken to Roosevelt Hospital with minor injuries, according to police.

    Emergency personnel are responding to falling debris from a high-rise building in Midtown Manhattan. West 57th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues is closed. SkyFoxHD was overhead where pieces of glass could be seen on the ground and a window shattered. Two people were hit by the falling glass at about 8:45 a.m. and were taken to Roosevelt Hospital with minor injuries, according to police.

  • Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:43:52 GMT
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices