East Hampton Celebrates
20 Years Of Arts Awards
Story by Edward T. Callaghan
Photos by Barry Gordin
UILD HALL of East Hampton, the premier cultural institution of its kind on Long Island’s East End, celebrated the 20th anniversary of its prestigious Academy of the Arts Awards with a glittering fete for the leading lights of performing, visual and literary arts that was more a family affair than stodgy award show.
The 200 member Guild Hall Academy of the Arts – a veritable who’s who in arts and letters – chose to honor composer/lyricist Sheldon Harnick for Performing Arts, novelist Louis Begley for Literary Arts, photographer/artist Cindy Sherman for Visual Arts and real estate developer and philanthropist Marshall Rose for Lifelong Patron of the Arts.
The gala not only paid tribute to this year's honorees but also to the over 60 artists who have been singled out over the past 19 years for sustained excellence in their field.
Previous awardees include such luminaries as Robert A. M. Stern, Chuck Close, Steven Spielberg, George Plimpton, Edward Albee, Lauren Bacall, Itzhak Perlman, Jerome Robbins, Sidney Lumet, Cy Coleman, Betty Friedan, Larry Rivers, Jane Freilicher, Kurt Vonnegut and Willem de Kooning.
Broadway producer Roy Furman, Academy of the Arts president, said, “For the past two decades the Academy has recognized world-class talent in the performing, visual and literary arts and all of this talent hails from our own backyard – our friends and neighbors.”
Under the dynamic leadership of gala co-chairs Leila and Melville (Mickey) Straus, board chairman Pamela and Edward Pantzer, Peggy and Henry Schleiff, Claude and Bruce Wasserstein and executive director Ruth Appelhof, the gathering was a festive celebration of world-class artistic talent.
One of Guild Hall’s and ABC TV The View’s favorite funny ladies, six-time MAC Award winner and comedian Angela LaGreca, kept the evening moving at a fast and funny pace.
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Marsha Norman presented to Sheldon Harnick; 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt presented to his old pal, Marshall Rose; internationally acclaimed artist Robert Longo to best friend Cindy Sherman, and Knopf senior editor George Andreou to his star author Louis Begley.
The star studded turnout included Candice Bergen (Marshall Rose’s wife), Mrs. Arlene Alda, Joan Ganz Cooney and Peter G. Peterson, Melissa Cohn, Judy Licht and Jerry Della Femina, Dallas Ernst, Tovah Feldshuh, Dina Merrill & Ted Hartley, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Patti Kenner, Bruce Horten, Linda Janklow.
Also June Noble Larkin, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Richard Meier, Gladys and Robert Nederlander, Marjorie Chester, Joan Steinberg, Robert A.M. Stern, Judith Hope and Tom Twomey, Mort Zuckerman, Frances Levine, Tony Walton and Gen LeRoy, B. Smith and Dan Gasby, Strong-Cuevas, Donald Sultan and Josh Gladstone, John Drew Theater artistic director.