Remembering Metropolitan Museum's John O'Keefe - FOX 35 News Orlando

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>>

  • Mayor, family move into Gracie Mansion

    Mayor, family move into Gracie Mansion

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:51 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:51:30 GMT
    It's home, sweet new home for Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family. The mayor, his wife and two children spent their first night in Gracie Mansion on Sunday. The De Blasios returned from a vacation in Italy Sunday afternoon.
    It's home, sweet new home for Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family. The mayor, his wife and two children spent their first night in Gracie Mansion on Sunday. The De Blasios returned from a vacation in Italy Sunday afternoon. De Blasio had spent some time debating whether to move out of his family's home in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, but the family ultimately decided to make the shift.
  • 'Spider-man' slugs cop in Times Square

    'Spider-man' slugs cop in Times Square

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:01 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:01:40 GMT
    A man dressed as Spider-Man was arraigned on charges he punched a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Time Square. Junior Bishop, 25, faces charges of assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Police say the officer interceded after Bishop demanded at least $5 from a woman he posed for a picture with, instead of the $1 she offered.
    A man dressed as Spider-Man was arraigned on charges he punched a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Time Square. Junior Bishop, 25, faces charges of assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Police say the officer interceded after Bishop demanded at least $5 from a woman he posed for a picture with, instead of the $1 she offered.
  • 5th annual MMA World Expo at Javits Center

    5th annual MMA World Expo at Javits Center

    Saturday, July 26 2014 11:30 PM EDT2014-07-27 03:30:06 GMT
    Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts gathered in the Big Apple for the 5th annual MMA World Expo. Only amateurs were allowed to compete at the event because New York continues to grapple with whether to make the sport legal in the state.
    Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts gathered in the Big Apple for the 5th annual MMA World Expo. Only amateurs were allowed to compete at the event because New York continues to grapple with whether to make the sport legal in the state.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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