Day: March 25th, 2007

I am not a trekkie

Sunday, March 25th, 2007 | All Things, Arts

At the 92nd Street Y (not just for New Yorkers) for a talk on art collecting by Leonard and Susan Bay-Nimoy (not just for trekkies/trekkers). The conversation was moderated by writer and Parsons School of Design professor Anastasia Aukeman.

92nd Street Y

Busy night at the Y: on my way in, I passed by Gene Wilder who would be appearing across the hall to talk about his debut novel.

Nimoy and his wife spoke about how they came to become avid art collectors — their interaction was sweetly and sincerely affectionate, underscoring their shared passion and hands-on approach to their acquisitions. The two spend hours personally touring artists’ galleries, selecting and compiling pieces for their private collection (presented in slideshow photos of their home) guided primarily by how the work resonates with them, rather than by adhering to any specific trends, style or genre.

The couple are longtime supporters of the arts: Bay-Nimoy is on the MASS MoCA Director’s Advisory Council. Nimoy is an emerging art photographer himself, and the experience inspired him and his wife to think about the difficulties new artists usually have in getting their work recognized by the public and in museums. In 2002, the couple set up a $1 million endowment fund for young artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In 2003, Nimoy and his wife established the Nimoy Foundation as president and vice president, respectively, to fund and encourage the work of artists who thrive in residency programs throughout the United States. Since
its inception in 2003 the Nimoy Foundation has distributed over $1.7 million. The Nimoys are also major financial supporters of the recent renovation and expansion of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, and of Symphony Space in New York, where the Leonard Nimoy Thalia reopened in 2002 after years of neglect.

But of course, Nimoy is best known as the man/humanoid behind the Vulcan Salute, so inevitably there were a few men in the audience who seemed suspiciously uninterested in either art or collecting. Nimoy seemed to notice, but took it all in good stride; no doubt he’s used to such a following by now.

For the fan boys — and I think there are at least a couple of you reading this — a blurry photo of Spock:

Leonard Nimoy

The post-discussion dessert reception was a rather elaborate spread, featuring two of my favorite treats: Linzer Tortes and Crème Brûlée. And dark chocolate-dipped strawberries… so make that three of my favorites. Those chocolate brownies looked tempting, too.

I probably should have eaten dinner first.

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