TEL AVIV MUSEUM
“First I Need Your Hand,
Then Forever Can Begin”
by David LaChapelle, $10,000
David LaChapelle and Jim
David LaChapelle and Robert
Enid Shapiro, executive
director of AFTAM, with Oded Halahmy and his sculptures
Audrey and Harvey Feuerstein
with George Roland
Janet Lehr, co-owner of
Vered Art Gallery in
East Hampton, and Jane Ann Fell
Marylyn Dintenfass and John
Bella Meyer, florist and
granddaughter, and philanthropist
Joan Muss and her nephew,
Preston Scott Cohen,
architect of the new Herta and
Paul Amir wing of
Tel Aviv Museum
New Yorkers Pay Tribute To
The Rolands, David LaChapelle
WAS sitting with a couple of
lawyers at the American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
gala at the Pierre Hotel in New York.
Harvey Feuerstein, of Manhattan,
proudly mentioned that his son, Mark Feuerstein, is now
in his fourth year starring in Royal Pains on the USA
network. The 40-year-old actor plays the lead role of the
doctor, Hank Lawson, in this comedy series.
The other lawyer, George Roland,
didn’t say much. His card informed that he’s president of Roland
Land Investment in Encino. He came from California for the
annual AFTAM dinner. He has an interest in art.
You can imagine how surprised I was to
see George spring on stage to accept an award on behalf of his
late parents, Anton and Susan Roland. His parents
had gifted the museum with 13 magnificent paintings by masters
of the 20th century, including a Francis Bacon
triptych appraised at $75 million.
"My parents were opposites," George
said. His mother came from Hungary and father from the
Carpathians. Dad studied in a yeshiva in Prague when the war
He found his future wife on the street
wearing a Jewish star. "Why are you wearing that?"
"They told me to."
"Just because they told you to do it
doesn’t mean you do it."
He ripped the star off her coat and
took her to the underground where he was working as a forger for
the resistance against the Nazis. They stayed together ever
AFTAM chairman David Genser and
gala chair Lauren Etess Schwartz honored David
LaChapelle as artist of the year.
LaChapelle donated a limited edition
print of his "First I Need Your Hand, Then Forever Can
Begin," 2009, valued at $10,000, the proceeds of
which will benefit the Tel Aviv Museum.
Among the artists who applauded were
James Rosenquist, Donald Sultan, Nir Hod, Boaz Vaadia,
Marylyn Dintenfass and Oded Halahmy. Also architect
Preston Scott Cohen who designed the Herta and Paul Amir
Building that opened November 2011. The museum earned the 2012
Best Museum Award by Travel and Leisure Magazine for this
magnificent Amir wing.
LaChapelle said in an interview that
he was born in Fairfield, Conn., to Huguenot parents. His
ancestors were Protestants who fled persecution in France in the
17th century to freedom in Canada.
Two decades ago LaChapelle stayed in a
kibbutz and took a bus to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. "I met
Moti who was so welcoming I felt relaxed," he said of
Mordechai Omer, director and chief curator.
He was so taken with the warmth of the
people of Israel and "their personification of living in the
moment – people at the beach, in the cafes, on the scooters. The
way they embraced life was so different from anything I
The 250 guests sorely missed Professor
Mordechai Omer, who held sway over the gala year after year. He
succumbed to cancer in June 2011. In his stead came Suzanne
Landau. Chief curator of fine arts at the Israel Museum in
Jerusalem, Landau will succeed Omer in September.