Tonight at a State Department dinner in Washington, D.C., the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies will present Carlyle Group co-founder and co-CEO David Rubenstein, a formidable collector of documents from American history, with its Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts. But that’s not the only honor changing hands. At the dinner, Mr. Rubenstein will donate reproductions of a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence that he owns to every United States embassy in the world. He’ll present the official gift to America’s 68th Secretary of State, John Kerry.
Sculptor Joel Shapiro was one of the first to arrive at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwartzman Building on Wednesday night, and the large, stately room looked a little empty as he and a few other punctual guests mingled before the event—a conversation between billionaire philanthropist David Rubenstein and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham. They weren’t alone for long. Dozens of fashionably late furs were soon cast off at the coat check and in poured a river of well-heeled guests, ready to celebrate Mr. Rubenstein’s receipt of the fifth annual Leonore and Walter Annenberg award for Diplomacy through the Arts from the Foundation for Art & Preservation in Embassies.
The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies has announced that six screenprints by Jackson Pollock will be installed in the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. In addition, eight photographs by Lee Friedlander will go up at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City.
“Four and eight are bad in China,” Joel Shapiro explained late last month in his studio in Long Island City, just south of the Queensboro Bridge. The symbol for that number sounds like the symbol for death. “I had my assistant ask his Chinese in-law, who’s this great mahjong player of Chinatown, which numbers were okay. Also, I discussed it with people at the State Department.”