Remembering Metropolitan Museum's John O'Keefe

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>>

  • Helmsley Building lights up in gold

    Going gold for pediatric cancer research

    Going gold for pediatric cancer research

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:22:24 GMT
    The Helmsley Building in Manhattan went gold Wednesday night in honor of children with cancer. The owners also plan to do the same in September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.Other city landmarks that will go gold next month include Times Square, the Coney Island Parachute jump, and all of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
    The Helmsley Building in Manhattan went gold Wednesday night in honor of children with cancer. The owners also plan to do the same in September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.Other city landmarks that will go gold next month include Times Square, the Coney Island Parachute jump, and all of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
  • Bed bug infestation at money firm PIMCO, report says

    Bed bug infestation at money firm PIMCO, report says

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:55:02 GMT
    A big money management firm in New York City has been hit with a major infestation of bed bugs, according to Fox Business Network. Stock traders who do business with Pacific Investment Management Co., better known as PIMCO, told Fox Business' Charles Gasparino that hundreds of people have been relocated from one of the firm's buildings in New York City to an undisclosed upstate location after reports of widespread bed bug bites among executives and employees.
    A big money management firm in New York City has been hit with a major infestation of bed bugs, according to Fox Business Network. Stock traders who do business with Pacific Investment Management Co., better known as PIMCO, told Fox Business' Charles Gasparino that hundreds of people have been relocated from one of the firm's buildings in New York City to an undisclosed upstate location after reports of widespread bed bug bites among executives and employees.
  • Five Guys offers bacon milkshakes

    Five Guys offers bacon milkshakes

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:47:08 GMT
    Burger chain Five Guys is testing the adage that everything tastes better with bacon. It is rolling out a customizable milkshake program and along with bananas, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, salted caramel, you can chose bacon.  Yes that's right: a bacon milkshake.
    Burger chain Five Guys is testing the adage that everything tastes better with bacon. It is rolling out a customizable milkshake program and along with bananas, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, salted caramel, you can chose bacon.  Yes that's right: a bacon milkshake.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices