Photo Coverage: New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend - Auction for the Arts

January 6
3:00 PM 2006
To launch the fifth annual New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend, a five-day national and international celebration of art and culture, the auction house Christie's hosted the first New York Times Auction for The Arts on Jan. 5. For more information, visit the Web site at

Many of the celebrity participants from the last five years of Arts & Leisure Weekend are donating one-of-a-kind personal items and experiences to the auction. Net proceeds from the auction will benefit The Actors' Fund of America. The honorary chairs for the event are Tony Award winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Bebe Neuwirth, and Golden Globe winner Lynn Redgrave.

Arts & Leisure Weekend is The Times's annual event of national and international celebrations of art and culture. This year more than 1,500 cultural institutions are participating throughout the United States and Europe. The weekend includes a wide range of arts and leisure activities from interviews with celebrities to free admission at museums around the country and the world.



Joel Grey

Joel Grey auctions off an original photograph

An original photograph by Joel Grey

Ron Rifkin

Jess Cagle, Joel Grey, and Ron Rifkin

Jess Cagle, Joel Grey, and Ron Rifkin

Lynn Redgrave

Joel Grey, Lynn Redgrave, and Joseph P. Benincasa (Executive Director, The Actors' Fund of America)

Renée Fleming

Joel Grey, Renée Fleming, and Lynn Redgrave

Ron Rifkin and Joel Grey

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Some of the many auction items:


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Ben Strothmann Ben Strothmann has been a portrait and theatrical photographer since 1995. Since building his first darkroom in his hometown of Milwaukee WI, his portrait studio now looks out over Manhattan where he shoots headshots and production photos. Born to a famous cheesecake lady (Suzy Strothmann of Suzy's Cream Cheesecakes), Ben is also an actor and pianist. Currently he lives in Astoria and studies guitar and Icelandic. Ben is also a volunteer for The Heart Gallery ( and helps NYC foster children find permanent, loving families. Ben is proud to be a part of the world famous singing waitstaff at Ellen's Stardust Diner. See for more info.