Remembering Metropolitan Museum's John O'Keefe - KMSP-TV

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>>

  • Manhattan nursery school's sanitizing machine keeps air clean

    Manhattan nursery school's sanitizing machine keeps air clean

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:47:17 GMT
    All of us feel the same way about "cooties": Eww. At the Goddard School on the Upper West Side, a high-tech machine is keeping "cooties" out of the classroom. "This is the latest and then most effective sanitization method available today," says Bill Swan, the owner of the Goddard School. He purchased the ZONO Sanitech for his school about six months ago. The machine is the size of a double refrigerator and uses oxygen to kill viruses and bacteria.
    All of us feel the same way about "cooties": Eww. At the Goddard School on the Upper West Side, a high-tech machine is keeping "cooties" out of the classroom. "This is the latest and then most effective sanitization method available today," says Bill Swan, the owner of the Goddard School. He purchased the ZONO Sanitech for his school about six months ago. The machine is the size of a double refrigerator and uses oxygen to kill viruses and bacteria.
  • NYC's pickup basketball games moving indoors

    NYC's pickup basketball games moving indoors

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:54 PM EDT2014-07-24 21:54:18 GMT
    Believe it or not this, some say New York's outdoor basketball courts are a dying entity. Even Rucker Park in Harlem -- where Dr. J and countless others honed their skills -- used to be standing room only all times of the day. Now there's plenty of room to stand on most days.Basketball programs like one at Chelsea Piers are gaining popularity. That means the place to hoop it up for many appears to be indoors.
    Believe it or not this, some say New York's outdoor basketball courts are a dying entity. Even Rucker Park in Harlem -- where Dr. J and countless others honed their skills -- used to be standing room only all times of the day. Now there's plenty of room to stand on most days.Basketball programs like one at Chelsea Piers are gaining popularity. That means the place to hoop it up for many appears to be indoors.
  • Ex-Sen. Lieberman to teach at Yeshiva University

    Ex-Sen. Lieberman to teach at Yeshiva University

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:56:06 GMT
    Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman has been appointed a professor at Yeshiva University for the coming school year. The private university in New York City named him the Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service. He'll teach an undergraduate course and give three public lectures on topics ranging from Judaism and public service to the Middle East.
    Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman has been appointed a professor at Yeshiva University for the coming school year. The private university in New York City named him the Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service. He'll teach an undergraduate course and give three public lectures on topics ranging from Judaism and public service to the Middle East.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

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