David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary

May 11, 2011

Excellence in the Classical Tradition

Art was the topics of conversation at The Fund for Park Avenue gathering at the Park Avenue galleries of Phillips de Pury which was previewing its upcoming sale of Contemporary Art.

The evening was also a chance to remind everyone that it is the contributions to The Fund each year that make the planting, lighting and maintenance of the trees and flowers on the Park Avenue islands possible.

In addressing his guests, Simon de Pury, Chairman of Phillips de Pury applauded The Fund’s work, noting that Phillips’ two New York locations overlooked parkland – the Park Avenue malls and the High Line – that are cared for by “the best examples of public-private partnerships in the City.”

“Everyone sees the tulips in spring and the memorial trees in winter but not everyone knows how they happen,” said Barbara McLaughlin, The Fund’s President. “We are totally dependant on the annual contributions from the community – individuals, the buildings on Park Avenue and corporations – to make this beautification possible.”

This year, in addition to the tulips, plants and trees, Will Ryman’s king-sized rose sculptures have garnered enthusiastic attention. They were visible from Phillips’s first and second floors. Temporary sculpture exhibitions are presented under the auspices of The Fund’s Sculpture Advisory Committee (headed by Charles Bergman and Ronald D. Spencer, Esq.) and the Public Art Program of the City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation. Contributions to The Fund do not support these exhibitions.

Since 1980, The Fund, through its Park Avenue Malls Planting Project, has planted nearly three million tulip bulbs, one million begonias and over 600 trees. This year’s tulips were Ollioules, a pale pink, white-edged Darwin hybrid variety selected to compliment “The Roses.” In prior years the colors have signified important milestones such as white for The Fund’s 30th anniversary in 2010 and orange in 2009 for the 400th anniversary of the Dutch arrival of Henry Hudson in New York harbor.

Alison Minton and Francesca Beale