Vartan Gregorian, president of the Patti and Everett B. Birch Foundation, which funded the Moroccan Court and another... Read More
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
David and Julia Koch paused in front
of a 14th-century prayer niche from Isfahan made of blue ceramic
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
“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
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
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.
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.
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.)