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Donna Karan and Louis Dell'Olio for Anne Klein, 1982

Harry Benson
Donna Karan and Louis Dell'Olio for Anne Klein, 1982

By: David Patrick Columbia

Tuesday, December 17, 2019.  One week to Christmas Eve. It was cold and grey in New York yesterday. Temps in the mid-30s and rain and/or snow (depending on the hour).

As the holiday approaches and moves to the New Year, the activities increase both privately and publicly. Last Thursday, December 12th, Harry Benson and his wife Gigi were joined by more than 400 friends and photography fans for the opening of Harry Benson Behind the Scenes at the Staley-Wise Gallery in Soho. 

People were surprised by the 92 photographs in the exhibit, taken between 1969 and 2007 as most had not been printed before, such as the behind-the-scene fashion photographs that Harry took for French Vogue and LIFE magazine. Several of the guests that night were subjects of the photographs, with their pictures on the wall including Mary McFadden, Kirat Young, Barbara de Portago and Charlotte Ronson

Enjoying the celebration with owners Etheleen Staley and Taki Wise and Gallery Director George Kocis were Harry’s daughter Tessa with husband Tucker Tooley and son Tucker; also Harry’s son-in-law Michael Landes; as well as Jonathan and Eileen Otto, Beth Rudin de Woody with her husband, photographer Firooz Zahedi; Cathy Kaplan, president of the Aperture Foundation; Lynn and Genevieve CrystalEleanora Kennedy, Sue Bloomberg, Edgar Batista, Entertainment Weekly Editor J.D. Heyman; Ursula Striker, Ellen Saltzman, Elizabeth Biondi, Sallie Lewis Longoria, Nancy Paulsen, VF’s David Friend, former editor of LIFE, TIME and PEOPLE magazines, James R. GainesJonathan Delano, Neil Leifer, and David Burnett; Donna Olsham, Pete Bonventre, Nate Reuss, Ben Havrilak, Luke Tricomi, Chiara de Rege, Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, CeCe and Lee Black, Leigh CurryJames Koutoulas, Dick Miles and Pat Whitaker who flew in from St. Louis for the party, Joyce and Jim Seymore, Stephen Jacoby, Royce PinkwaterMary Hilliard, Sharon Hoge, and Aiden McDougall. You get the picture.

The exhibit runs thru January 25th. Staley-Wise is located at 100 Crosby Street, #305,  Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm.

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