Homebuilder Joe Brennan hosted a private pop-up museum inside his gorgeous converted-church house

By Jennifer Cheng| Photography by Giordano Ciampini
Homebuilder Joe Brennan hosted a private pop-up museum inside his gorgeous converted-church house

On Wednesday, homebuilders to the stars Joe Brennan and Daniel Greenglass turned their 8,000-square-foot converted-church townhouse in Little Italy into a private pop-up museum, stocked with 25 rarely seen works of art. The concept came to them while travelling in Palm Beach, where Wendy and Elliott Eisen, national co-chairs of the Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum, invited them to host a fundraiser for the Jerusalem institution. When David Mirvish heard about the idea, he offered up pieces of his own art collection, and suggested Brennan and Greenglass enlist art advisor and former AGO curator David Moos, who offered to track down more masterpieces from private collections across the city. Here’s a look at what happened—and five of the works on display—inside Brennan and Greenglass’ palatial home during the Gatsby-esque production.

The Party


The evening’s 200 guests mingled in the cavernous hall. A ticket cost $1,800.


Brennan, right, watched from the staircase as James S. Snyder of the Israel Museum addressed the crowd. Proceeds from the evening supported a program that grants children free admission to the museum.


Developer Alan Menkes shared a laugh with David Mirvish, an honorary chair of the event.


Event co-chairs Kimberley Newport-Mimran and Joe Mimran. (Janice and Earle O’Born were also co-chairs.) Look at those shoes.


On the menu: tiny tacos.



The Art

Drowning Muse
Roy Lichtenstein

From the collection of Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Lichtenstein was a pioneer of Pop Art alongside Andy Warhol. He challenged the definition of high art by painting comic strips—most notably his seminal 1963 canvas, Drowning Girl. Later in his career, he created this brush-stroke painting, a more impressionistic reference to that earlier piece.


The Edelstone View #1 and The Edelstone View #2
Robert Motherwell

From the collection of Charles and Marilyn Baillie Motherwell was the youngest member of the New York School, a group of avant-garde artists in the 1950s and ‘60s. His abstract art is known for colour planes punctuated with minimalist lines—on terrific display in this diptych.


Red Cap
Alex Katz

From the collection of Hon. Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski Katz, 89, has a thing for faces, especially his wife, Ada’s—he has been painting portraits of her for a half-century. This is one of them.



Pair of Sitting Figures V1
Lynn Chadwick

From the collection of Robert A. Rubinoff These dramatic human figures are a part of a distinctive series from the late British sculptor Lynn Chadwick. Each of the pairs were cast in bronze and feature strange, pyramidal heads.


Big Flea Trapeze
Frank Stella

From the collection of David and Audrey Mirvish Here, Paul Limperopulos, co-director of the Benefit Print Project, stands next to a wild aluminum-and-steel sculpture by American Frank Stella. Brennan is a particular fan of the work: “I would give up my dining room table and eat on the floor to keep this piece.”


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