October 9, 2017
Jamee Gregory Discusses TEFAF New York Fall and The Society of MSK
Jamee Gregory, President of The Society of MSK, brings us her tips on TEFAF exhibitors, the opening night, and how to give back.
by New York Spaces
Jamee Gregory is the President of The Society of MSK (2017-2019).
TEFAF New York Fall will take place from October 28–November 1, 2017 at the Park Avenue Armory. The proceeds from the opening night on Friday, October 27th will benefit the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. You can Buy Tickets here.
What first inspired you to get involved with The Society?
Jamee Gregory: When I moved back to New York from London, my friend Evelyn Lauder brought me to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to hear a lecture by Dr. Larry Norton. I had seen friends and family suffer from cancer. It felt like once they received a diagnosis, all hope was lost. During this lecture, I realized that many of the finest scientists and physicians were working at MSK, finding new and undiscovered approaches to treating cancer. I was blown away by Larry's passion and inspired by Evelyn's commitment to raising funds and awareness to support his work. I knew MSK was something I wanted support. I was lucky enough to be brought into The Society by past Presidents Susan Burke and Nicole Limbocker, who invited me to participate in my first MSK event.
In your 16 years with The Society, what has been your favorite memory where you've witnessed the impact of The Society's work?
Jamee Gregory: The first time I pushed the Halloween candy cart had a huge impact on me. Watching the faces of the patients, unexpectedly receiving candy bags filled by volunteers, and seeing them laugh and share stories of their own favorite holiday memories, was a very powerful experience. My own granddaughter, in Los Angeles, was worrying about her costume and trick-or-treating, asking to stay up past her normal bedtime. When I came home from MSK that day, I truly understood how fortunate she was to be to be healthy and to experience the joy of that holiday. I appreciated the importance of The Society's work, creating small, human moments, within a patient's hospital experience. I felt incredibly lucky to be a part of that.
What are your plans and goals as the new president of The Society?
Jamee Gregory: As the President of The Society, my main goal is to raise awareness around the needs of MSK's doctors, patients and researchers. MSK is among the world's preeminent cancer hospitals, thanks to the indefatigable dedication of these incredible medical minds. My hope is that The Society, and the events we organize throughout the year, will continue to inspire individuals and corporations to support MSK's fight to fund cutting edge-research and treatment. I hope to continue exploring ways The Society can improve patients' experience while they undergo treatment—whether it be through events like The Pediatric Prom, or the Flower Program. I want to support the anonymous work of The Dream Team, which grants patients' wishes.
Who are you favorite exhibitors at the TEFAF New York Fall?
Jamee Gregory: My husband and I collect Russian and French enameled, jeweled boxes. Our first stop is usually A La Vieille Russie. Their Faberge flowers, frames and antique jewelry are always irresistible. Another favorite, from our years in London, is Wartski, who deal in unique Russian treasures. When my husband and I married, we began collecting Dutch porcelain from the 17th and 18th century, and have added to that collection each year in great part thanks to pieces we acquired over the years from Aronson Antiquairs. This year, I'm hoping to find a Delft Shoe for my mother, who has her own collection in Chicago.
What are you most looking forward to at TEFAF?
Jamee Gregory: The Opening Night of TEFAF always signals the start of the fall season in New York. Usually the weather is starting to change and everyone is finally back from their summer adventures and into their routine in the city. It's a great chance to connect with friends and to support an important cause at the same time. I always return to the Fair during the week. There is never enough time to explore each booth.
How would you describe your own style when it comes to fashion, design & art?
Jamee Gregory: The most treasured piece in our collection is the Russian wedding chest that belonged to my husband's grandparents. It reminds me of the generations of love that stood before us, and of the power of objects to survive the turmoil of history.
My own fashion style is driven by my love of color. I'm drawn to classic pieces with an unexpected twist.
As far as interiors, I'm definitely not a minimalist. I am attracted to color and floral prints and cannot imagine life without fresh flowers, piles of books and photographs of my family.
In addition to paintings from our granddaughter, which adorn our fridge, our walls are covered in paintings and watercolors amassed over the years. We have works by our late friend, Alex Liberman, along with Bessler botanical prints and English oil paintings of my favorite animal on earth: sheep. My taste is eclectic and impulsive. I know when I love something. I always go with my first instinct.
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