Programs and Events Gala and Cultural Leadership Awards
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CULTURAL LEADERSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS

Each year, the American Federation of Arts presents the Cultural Leadership Award to individuals who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to supporting art and museums, both nationally and internationally. The Cultural Leadership Award is formally presented to the honorees at the AFA’s annual gala, attended by an elite audience of leaders from society, business, and the cultural world. Proceeds from the gala help underwrite the AFA’s traveling exhibitions, which are seen by well over one million visitors to museums located across the United States and around the world.


2013

Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards

Honoring:

  • Eugene V. Thaw, art dealer, collector, and author

              Introduced by William M. Griswold, Director of the Morgan Library & Museum

  • Kehinde Wiley, renowned portrait painter

              Introduced by Arnold L. Lehman, Director of the Brooklyn Museum

Co-Chairs:

  • Martha McMillan, Clare E. McKeon, Capera Ryan

              2013 Gala photos

Watch the video!

 

2012

Gala & Cultural Leadership Award

Honoring:

  • Sarah Sze, renowned contemporary artist

              Introduced by Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1

              and Chief Curator at Large, the Museum of Modern Art

  • With Special Guest Graham W. J. Beal, Director, President, and CEO of the
    Detroit Institute of Arts

              Introduced by Martin Friedman, Former Director of the Walker Art Center

Co-Chairs:

  • Scott A. Dahnke, Clare E. McKeon, Capera Ryan

              2012 Gala photos

 

2011

Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards

Honoring:

  • Marina Abramović, renowned performance artist

              Introduced by Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1

              and Chief Curator at Large, the Museum of Modern Art

  • Earl A. Powell, III, Director of the National Gallery of Art

              Introduced by Philippe de Montebello, Fiske Kimball Professor in the History and Culture of               Museums, Institute of Fine Arts and Director Emeritus, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Co-Chairs:

  • Lydia Fenet, Clare E. McKeon, Capera Ryan

              2011 Gala photos

 

2010

AFA 100th Anniversary Gala

Co-Chairs:

  • Clare E. McKeon, Damaris D.W. Ford, Scott A. Dahnke, and Stephanie R. La Nasa

              2010 Gala photos

 

2008

Honoring:

  • Elizabeth Rohatyn, founder of FRAME (French Regional & American Museum Exchange)
    Introduced by Michael Conforti, Director, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; President, Association of Art Museum Directors

Co-Chairs:

  • Stephanie and Jody La Nasa

2007

Honoring:

  • His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan

    Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority

    Chairman, Tourism Development and Investment Company

  • Thomas Krens

    Director, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

  • Frank O. Gehry

    Architect, Gehry Partners, LLP

Introduced by Tom L. Freudenheim, President of the American Federation of Arts

Co-Chairs:

  • Stephanie La Nasa, AFA Trustee
  • William Mack, Founder and Senior Partner of Apollo Real Estate Advisors, L.P.

              
              2007 Gala Photos

2006

Honoring:

  • Donna and Cargill MacMillan, Jr.
    Introduced by William Griswold, the Director and CEO of the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Chair:

2004

Honoring:
  • John Bryan, former CEO and Chairman of Sara Lee
    introduced by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Chairman and CEO, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  • Shirin Neshat, Artist
    introduced by Nancy Spector, Curator of Contemporary Art, Guggenheim Museum
  • James Wood, retiring Director and President of The Art Institute of Chicago
    introduced by Philippe de Montebello, Director, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chair:

  • Lewis Manilow, Philanthropist

2003

Honoring:
  • Susan Weber Soros, Founder and Director, Bard Graduate Center for Studies of Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture
    introduced by Leon Botstein, Music Director, American Symphony Orchestra

  • Bill Viola, Artist
    introduced by Lady de Rothschild, Founder and CEO of ELR Holdings, Philanthropist

Co-Chairs:

  • Ann and Gilbert Kinney, AFA Trustees

2002

Honoring:
  • Anne d'Harnoncourt, Director, Philadelphia Museum of Art
    introduced by George Cheston, AFA Trustee and former President and Honorary Trustee,       Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Maya Lin, Architect
    introduced by George Robert A.M. Stern, Architect

Co-Chairs:

  • David and Linda Supino, AFA Trustees

2001

Honoring:
  • Ellsworth Kelly, Artist
  • Stephanie French, AFA Trustee and Vice President, Corporate Contributions, Altria
  • John Walsh, retiring Director, J. Paul Getty Museum

Co-Chairs:

  • Jan and Frederick Mayer

2000

Honoring:
  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee
  • Serena Rattazzi, retiring Director, AFA

Co-Chairs:

  • Anne Cox Chambers, Director, Cox Enterprises and former Ambassador to Belgium
  • Katharine Lee Reid, Director, The Cleveland Museum of Art

1999–AFA's 90th Birthday Party

Honoring:
  • Jan Mayer, President, AFA Board of Trustees

Co-Chairs:

  • Meryl and Robert Meltzer, AFA Trustees
  • J. Carter Brown, former Director, National Gallery of Art
  • Stephanie French, AFA Trustee and Vice President, Corporate Contributions, Altria

Honorary Chair:

  • Jan Cowles

1998

Honoring:
  • Iris Cantor, Philanthropist

Co-Chairs:

  • Linda and David Supino, AFA Trustees

Honorary Chair:

  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee

1997

Honoring:
  • Henry Luce III, former Publisher, Time and Fortune magazines, Philanthropist

Co-Chairs:

  • Ann and Gilbert Kinney, AFA Trustees

Honorary Chair:

  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee

1996

Honoring:
  • Lee Hills, AFA Trustee and Chairman Emeritus, Knight Ridder

Chair:

  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee

1995

Honoring:
  • Betty Blake, AFA Trustee
  • Roy Neuberger, AFA Trustee and Founder, Neuberger & Berman

Co-Chairs:

  • Margot and Robert Linton, AFA Trustees

Honorary Chair:

  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee

1994

Honoring:

  • Richard Oldenburg, former AFA Trustee and retiring Director, Museum of Modern Art

Co-Chairs:

  • Ann and Gilbert Kinney, AFA Trustees

Corporate Chair:

  • Stephanie French, AFA Trustee and Vice President, Corporate Contributions, Altria

Honorary Chair:

  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee

1993

Honoring:
  • Evan H. Turner, retiring Director, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Co-Chairs:

  • Peggy and George Cheston, AFA Trustees
  • Barbara and Nicholas Millhouse, AFA Trustees
  • Elizabeth Petrie, AFA Trustee
  • Mrs. Alfred M. Rankin, AFA Trustee

Regional Co-Chairs:

  • Betty Blake, AFA Trustee
  • Susie Elson, AFA Trustee
  • Jan Mayer, AFA Trustee
  • Nani and Robert Warren, AFA Trustees

Honorary Chair:

  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee


1992

Honoring:
  • J. Carter Brown, retiring Director, National Gallery of Art

Chair:

  • Betty Blake, AFA Trustee

International Corporate Chair:

  • Edmond J. Safra, Founder, Republic National Bank and Philanthropist

National Corporate Chair:

  • Harold A. Poling, Chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Company

Regional Co-Chairs:

  • Ann and Gilbert Kinney, AFA Trustee
  • Jan Mayer, AFA Trustee

Honorary Chair:

  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee

1991– "Salute to American Art"

Chair:
  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee

1991– "Benefit Gala Dinner Dance"

Co-Chairs:

  • Barbara and Richard Lane, AFA Trustees
  • Meryl and Robert Meltzer, AFA Trustees

1989"Perfectly Pop" 80th Anniversary

Honoring:
  • George Weissman, Chairman of the Board, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Benefit Chair:

  • Jan Cowles, AFA Trustee

Co-Chairs:

  • Carolyn Alexander, Gallerist
  • Charles Cowles, Gallerist

Corporate Chair:

  • Donald Cox, AFA Trustee
    Committee for the Arts Chair:
  • Leo Castelli, Gallerist and Collector