Katonah Museum Of Art To Celebrate 60th Anniversary

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Betty Himmel is one of three Katonah Museum of Art supporters to be honored at the museum’s Diamond Jubilee benefit party on May 10.
Betty Himmel is one of three Katonah Museum of Art supporters to be honored at the museum’s Diamond Jubilee benefit party on May 10. Photo Credit: Courtesy Katonah Museum of Art

KATONAH, N.Y. -- The Katonah Museum of Art will celebrate its Diamond Jubilee on May 10. 

The benefit event will start off with a silent auction in the museum’s sculpture garden, with 75 items up for bid, followed by a live auction later in the evening. The festivities will feature the 60th anniversary of the Katonah Museum of Art, including hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, as well as a four-course dinner and dancing under the stars.

"This significant milestone presents an opportunity to honor the contributions of three extraordinary Katonah Museum of Art supporters who represent three generations of the institution’s history -- Inge Brouard Brown, Betty Himmel and Amanda Alfieri," representatives said. "With encouragement from the Katonah Village Improvement Society, Inge Brouard Brown founded the Katonah Gallery, which started on the top floor of the Katonah Village Library in 1954 and ultimately became the Katonah Museum of Art. Native to Katonah, Ms. Brouard Brown has inspired multiple generations of local residents to participate in the presentation of art and the cultivation of ideas. In her own words, 'It is important to thank each and every volunteer of the last 60 years. They are the ones who have created the illustrious history leading to this celebratory diamond jubilee.'"

The gallery board in 1966 agreed to follow Brown’s suggestion to zero in on education as the primary mission of the museum, according to a release. 

“I suggested that with art education as our main goal, we could serve children of the region and increase membership," she said. "This daunting, intimidating task wasn’t possible without a larger workforce. Soon, close to 100 dedicated volunteers, with high standards in mind, offered to research and create excellent traveling exhibitions for 65 member schools, plus education-focused exhibitions worthy of bus trips to the gallery. Soon we had tripled our membership -- all because of such amazing volunteers."

Himmel has been "instrumental in guiding and expanding the Katonah Museum of Art," first volunteering in 1968 and later becoming board president in 1976, and again in 1991, according to the release.

“Watching the Katonah museum grow and flourish has been a source of immense pride for me," Himmel said. "Over a period of 60 years, the museum has been true to its core values and mission -- to provide ambitious and innovative programming always with a strong educational component. The museum’s future has never looked brighter and more promising than it does right now.”

Corporate sponsorship for the event is provided by Diageo, The Durst Organization, Glenmede, and Houlihan Lawrence Katonah Brokerage and Houlihan Lawrence Bedford/Pound Ridge Brokerage. Catering will be by Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships.

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