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Two for the Money

Katherine Farley, just named chairwoman of Lincoln Center, is the wife of Jerry Speyer, chairman of MoMA. How much philanthropy can one couple handle—even with a net worth of $1.5 billion?

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How She Got the Top Job
Farley sat on the boards of the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center Theater; joined LCPA board in 2003, taking vice-chairmanship in 2005. A year later, she led the $1.2 billion Lincoln Center Development Project, coordinating the center’s twelve fractious resident groups.

How He Got the Top Job
As a trustee, Speyer helped MoMA buy the Dorset Hotel site in 1996 for its subsequent expansion. (His deal-making shaved $25 million off the price.) Then he persuaded the Giuliani administration to contribute $65 million (of the $858 million total). He became chairman in 2007.

Her Résumé
• Senior managing director, Tishman Speyer
• Trustee, Brown University
• Board member, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
• Board of overseers member, International Rescue Committee
• Former vice-president of the board of directors of the Brearley School
• Former chair, Women in Need

His Résumé
• Chairman and co-CEO, Tishman Speyer
• Chairman emeritus, Columbia University
• Member of the Council on Foreign Relations
• Board member, Economic Club of New York
• Chair emeritus, Partnership for New York City
• Former board president, the Dalton School
• Former chairman of the board of directors, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
• Vice-chairman, New York-Presbyterian Hospital
• Chairman emeritus, Real Estate Board of New York

How Her Power …
When the New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall were in talks to merge in 2003, Farley (working on behalf of the Philharmonic) handled secret negotiations …

… Is Helped By His
… with Carnegie Hall, where Speyer sat on the executive committee. (They may have had help from Sanford Weill, Carnegie’s chairman, and his wife, Joan, who’s on the Alvin Ailey board with Farley.) The deal broke down over the allocation of performance time for the orchestra.

Her Next Challenge
The fates of Damrosch Park and the proposed theater atop the Library for the Performing Arts are in question, but most pressing is the rehab of Avery Fisher Hall. Even if the Phil and the Center can agree on what’s to be done, will the orchestra move for the duration? (Back to Carnegie?) Speyer may have advice from his MoMA experience—the museum relocated to Queens during its expansion.

His Next Challenge
In 2007, MoMA sold a patch of land on 54th Street to the developer Hines, which plans a 1,250-foot condo designed by Jean Nouvel. MoMA is counting on 75,000 square feet of new space in the tower—which has been “delayed indefinitely.” (It’s now at the public-review stage, albeit without full financing.)


Their Rivals For Top Cultural Power Couple


Sanford and Joan Weill
He chairs Carnegie Hall; she chairs Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Gave Weill Cornell Medical College $170 million (this year).


Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis
Him: Metropolitan Museum, Mount Sinai. Her: president of MoMA; board member at Sloan-Kettering and, oddly, the Qatar Museums Authority.


Sid and Mercedes Bass
He’s vice-chairman of MoMA; she’s vice-chairman at Carnegie and the Met Opera. Gave $25 million to the Met in 2006.


Leonard and Evelyn Lauder
He’s Mr. Whitney Museum—where he’s given $131 million in ’08 alone. She started the Breast Cancer Research Center and sits on the board of Sloan-Kettering.


Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor
His foundation gave out $235 million last year. She chairs the Hudson River Park Trust and sits on the board of AmFAR.

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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