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Scene Last Night: Blankfein, Koch, Rushdie at Met Arab Gala

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

David and Julia Koch.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

David and Julia Koch. Close

David and Julia Koch.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs Group. Close

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs Group.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., in the Mughal South Asia gallery. Close

Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., in the Mughal South Asia gallery.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

In the Moroccan Court. Close

In the Moroccan Court.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Salman Rushdie and his son Milan. Close

Salman Rushdie and his son Milan.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. Close

Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Julian Lethbridge and Anne Bass. Close

Julian Lethbridge and Anne Bass.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Emily Rafferty, president of the Metropolitan Museum, and Daniel Brodsky, the museum's chairman. Close

Emily Rafferty, president of the Metropolitan Museum, and Daniel Brodsky, the museum's chairman.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Peter and Elbrun Kimmelman. Close

Peter and Elbrun Kimmelman.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Annette and Oscar de la Renta. Close

Annette and Oscar de la Renta.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Phoebe Campbell and Thomas Campbell, director, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Close

Phoebe Campbell and Thomas Campbell, director, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Marilyn Wolf in an ikat tunic she purchased in Kashkar. Wolf is a donor of Turkman jewelry to the Met's collections. Close

Marilyn Wolf in an ikat tunic she purchased in Kashkar. Wolf is a donor of Turkman jewelry to the Met's collections.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Adrienne Arsht. Close

Adrienne Arsht.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Vartan Gregorian, president of the Patti and Everett B. Birch Foundation, which funded the Moroccan Court and another gallery in the Met's new installation of Islamic art, and Shelby White, funder with her late husband Leon Levy of the Met's Greek and Roman Galleries. Close

Vartan Gregorian, president of the Patti and Everett B. Birch Foundation, which funded the Moroccan Court and another... Read More

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

R&B singer Janelle Monae. Close

R&B singer Janelle Monae.

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

Author Susan Fales-Hill and designer Tracy Reese. Close

Author Susan Fales-Hill and designer Tracy Reese.

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

Raymond J. McGuire, chairman, Studio Museum in Harlem; Thelma Golden, director and chief curator, Studio Museum in Harlem; and Leonard Drew, 2011 recipient, Wein Artist Prize. Close

Raymond J. McGuire, chairman, Studio Museum in Harlem; Thelma Golden, director and chief curator, Studio Museum in... Read More

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

Chef Marcus Samuelson. Close

Chef Marcus Samuelson.

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

Designer Duro Olowu with his wife Thelma Golden. Close

Designer Duro Olowu with his wife Thelma Golden.

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

Lisa Phillips, director, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Adam Weinberg, director, Whitney Museum of American Art. Close

Lisa Phillips, director, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Adam Weinberg, director, Whitney Museum of American Art.

Photographer: Lili Rosboch/Bloomberg

Joel Motley, co-founder and managing director, Public Capital Advisors LLC, with his daughter, Hannah. Close

Joel Motley, co-founder and managing director, Public Capital Advisors LLC, with his daughter, Hannah.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Stephen Dubner of "Freakonomics Radio" and Graham Parker, head of WQXR. Close

Stephen Dubner of "Freakonomics Radio" and Graham Parker, head of WQXR.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Audra McDonald and Liev Schreiber emceed the New York Public Radio gala. Close

Audra McDonald and Liev Schreiber emceed the New York Public Radio gala.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Pianist Lang Lang. Close

Pianist Lang Lang.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The gala decor. Close

The gala decor.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Michael Steinhardt and his son David Steinhardt. Close

Michael Steinhardt and his son David Steinhardt.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

James Snyder, director of the Israel Museum. Close

James Snyder, director of the Israel Museum.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Michael Karsch of Karsch Capital, Neil Rubler of Vantage Properties and Edmond Safra. Close

Michael Karsch of Karsch Capital, Neil Rubler of Vantage Properties and Edmond Safra.

David and Julia Koch paused in front of a 14th-century prayer niche from Isfahan made of blue ceramic tile.

Salman Rushdie and son Milan looked up at a vaulted red- and-gold ceiling from 16th-century Spain.

Coca-Cola Co. Chairman Muhtar Kent and his wife, Defne, strolled past a fountain filled with flower petals in an ornately carved Moroccan Court.

Last night, the Metropolitan Museum of Art invited 700 guests to a celebration of its newest galleries.

Opening to the public on Nov. 1, the 15 rooms are formally known as the Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia. Their renovation began in 2003.

“I’ve been waiting so many years for this. I can’t believe it’s finally happening,” said art collector Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, board member of the Museum of Modern Art and wife of Venezuelan billionaire Gustavo Cisneros.

On view are 1,200 objects from the museum’s collection of more than 12,000. Some carpets have their own rooms, while a piece of carnelian inscribed in Hebrew, no bigger than a thumbprint, is in a glass display case with other objects found on a Met excavation in the 1930s.

“It’s overwhelming,” said author and preservationist Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, who was there with her husband, Carl.

In the Great Hall, the information desk was transformed into a bar. Waiters passed fava-bean puree on toast.

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group, searched for one of his deputies, Sharmin Mossavar- Rahmani, chief investment officer for the Private Wealth Management Group of Goldman Sachs’s Investment Management division.

Mossavar-Rahmani and her husband, Bijan, funded the gallery of Safavid and later Persian Art (1500-1924).

Thomas Campbell, the museum’s director, posed for a photograph with Rahmi M. Koc, head of the Istanbul-based Vehbi Koc Foundation, which supported two galleries of Ottoman art.

At 8 p.m., trumpeters urged guests into the Temple of Dendur, among them Elbrun and Peter Kimmelman, in matching robes with silver thread, Richard Avedon’s grandson Michael and Oscar and Annette de la Renta.

Dinner included lamb chops, harissa-style relish and the recitation of a long thank-you list by Campbell. No-shows included the Afghan ambassador to the U.S., whose boss, President Hamid Karzai, had uttered comments on Pakistan and the U.S. that he would later seek to re-say, but by then everyone was done with the pistachio ice cream.

Harlem Gala

R&B singer Janelle Monae, in her signature menswear, blended into the chic crowd at the Studio Museum in Harlem gala, where guests included designer Tracy Reese and Valentino Carlotti, president of Goldman Sachs’s Brazilian unit.

The party started at the Museum of American Finance, then moved to Cipriani Wall Street. During a dinner of sea bass and polenta, Raymond McGuire, head of global banking at Citigroup Inc., presided over the presentation of the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize to sculptor Leonardo Drew.

The band GDO Soul gave guests the most fun of the evening. Thelma Golden, director of the museum, hit the dance floor with her husband, designer Duro Olowu.

IPod Shuffles

Liev Schreiber emceed the New York Public Radio gala at 583 Park, a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the classical music radio station WQXR.

“WQXR is still the soundtrack of my youth,” said Schreiber. “Thank you for the many years of classical music I’ve had to endure and that hopefully my children and my children’s children will continue to endure.”

After dessert, Lang Lang played Chopin and Liszt for an audience including Peter J. Solomon, chairman and founder of Peter J. Solomon Co. At every place setting, guests found their own iPod Shuffle containing a recording of Stravinsky by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and podcasts of “Radiolab,” “Freakonomics Radio” and the new show “Here’s the Thing” with Alec Baldwin.”

Ice Cream Cones

Former hedge-fund manager Michael Steinhardt and his son David tried the kosher-ice-cream cones at the American Friends of the Israel Museum Art Next Next Art gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. Neither thought they were very good, but there was plenty else to try on the dessert buffet, including black-and- white cookies and chocolate-almond clusters.

The ladies, including Chloe Waddington, who works at Christie’s, and Emily Kaplan, who works at Sotheby’s, gravitated to the fruit.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter at @amandagordon.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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