University of Massachusetts Amherst

Through The Photographer's Eyes: The Diana Mara Henry Collection (20th Century Photographer)

Glamorous NYC, 1972-1983

For more than a decade, Diana Mara Henry photographed her way through the New York cultural and social scenes: from the NYC premiere of On Golden Pond with Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering and St. Vincent's hospitals, to parties and gallery openings, she was on hand with a camera and business cards always at the ready.

In the early 1980s, Henry traveled twice to Château de Balleroy in Normandy, France, at the request of Malcolm Forbes to photograph the international balloon meet he organized and hosted annually. While there, she captured photographs of his family as well many of the guests in attendance such as Fran Lebowitz and Henry Grunwald, managing editor of Time.

Her connection to Forbes resulted in other invitations from his children and their friends, such as Jeannette Watson Sanger, and from various publicists who ultimately became part of Henry’s ever-expanding inner circle. Through these connections she came to photograph Susan Watson smoking a cigar at Kathy Johnson's birthday party at the 21 Club and to capture Olive Watson in a compromising position at the Hayden Planetarium. After attending another party, she and publicist Tom Jones were recorded by Stan Mack in his Real Life Funnies. In the cartoon they are illustrated while waiting to hail a cab home; their caption reads: "Bella Abzug didn't come."-- "I thought Liz Holtzman would come for sure."

Other highlights include: Salvador Dali and Ultraviolet at the Planetarium, Jackie O at the Metropolitan Museum for Gil Wintering/Olivetti, Fashion Week at the Plaza, a retrospective for Lillian Gish, "Fashion as Fantasy," a fundraiser for Fountain House at Rizzoli with "avant-garde fashions" by Karl Lagerfeld.

Other fun times: recording the Lower East Side Art scene in 1984-1985, Jane Fonda touting her film Nine to Five to the Women Office Workers and the glitterati, Larry Rivers playing the sax at his opening at the Jewish Museum, and the flower power wedding of Ed Murphy and Linda Geary.