Jets’ Woody Johnson, Tory Burch, Toni Morrison: Scene

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Tory Burch, the designer, in a Gucci gown from the cruise collection. Burch was a chairwoman of the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Spring Ball. Gucci sponsored the ball.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Tory Burch, the designer, in a Gucci gown from the cruise collection. Burch was a chairwoman of the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Spring Ball. Gucci sponsored the ball. Close

Tory Burch, the designer, in a Gucci gown from the cruise collection. Burch was a chairwoman of the Society of... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Rob Thomas, singer and songwriter with the band Matchbox Twenty, headlined the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Spring Ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His favorite museum in New York is the Museum of Modern Art, while his wife, Marisol's is the Met, they told Bloomberg News. Close

Rob Thomas, singer and songwriter with the band Matchbox Twenty, headlined the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

N.Y. Jets owner Woody Johnson and his wife, Suzanne Johnson. Close

N.Y. Jets owner Woody Johnson and his wife, Suzanne Johnson.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Perri Peltz, a journalist involved in public health, Debra Peltz of Sotheby's International Realty, and Nina Rennert Davidson. Close

Perri Peltz, a journalist involved in public health, Debra Peltz of Sotheby's International Realty, and Nina Rennert Davidson.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Chloe Malle, Vogue magazine's social editor and the daughter of director Louis Malle and actress Candice Bergen (on Broadway through July 8 in "Gore Vidal's The Best Man"). Close

Chloe Malle, Vogue magazine's social editor and the daughter of director Louis Malle and actress Candice Bergen (on... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The decor in the Temple of Dendur, where the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center threw a fundraiser. Close

The decor in the Temple of Dendur, where the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center threw a fundraiser.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

At the American Academy in Rome gala: Chuck Close, Toni Morrison and Sienna Shields. Close

At the American Academy in Rome gala: Chuck Close, Toni Morrison and Sienna Shields.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Adele Chatfield-Taylor, president of the American Academy in Rome, with 2012 Centennial Medal recipient Peter Sellars, an opera and theater director. Close

Adele Chatfield-Taylor, president of the American Academy in Rome, with 2012 Centennial Medal recipient Peter... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Mercedes Bass, a longtime patron of the American Academy in Rome, with Paulo Szot, the actor and baritone. Close

Mercedes Bass, a longtime patron of the American Academy in Rome, with Paulo Szot, the actor and baritone.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Nancy Kissinger and William Kentridge, recipient of the American Academy in Rome's 2012 Centennial Medal. Close

Nancy Kissinger and William Kentridge, recipient of the American Academy in Rome's 2012 Centennial Medal.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse and founder of the Edible Schoolyard. Close

Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse and founder of the Edible Schoolyard.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Performance artist Pat Oleszko is known for crafting whimsical outfits. While at the American Academy in Rome, her materials included dried pasta. Close

Performance artist Pat Oleszko is known for crafting whimsical outfits. While at the American Academy in Rome, her... Read More

Robert Thomas of the pop band Matchbox Twenty performed an acoustic set in the Temple of Dendur last night for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

“I don’t think the temple could handle full-on drums and amps,” Thomas said as guests arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They included Woody Johnson, owner of the Jets, designer Tory Burch and Nina Rennert Davidson, daughter of billionaire Ira Rennert.

“Everybody here is feeling generous,” Thomas said. “You want to stoke that fire as much as you can.”

His mother was diagnosed with cancer when he was 12, Thomas said, and a few years ago his dog Tyler, a terrier mix, died of cancer.

Thom Mayne, architect of the planned Le Phare skyscraper in Paris as high as the Eiffel tower, pulled out a pen last night at the Plaza to write down something Peter Sellars said: “The question of the 21st century is how will we share?”

Mayne recorded the line in the program for the American Academy of Rome gala as Sellars spoke to accept the academy’s 2012 Centennial Medal. The theater and opera director was honored along with the artist William Kentridge.

The Academy was raising money to put up artists, architects, writers, and musicians in Rome for a year to share meals, space and ideas.

Pritzker Winner

“You’re mingling with people in all disciplines,” said the Pritzker prizewinner Mayne, an academy board member, who is also responsible for the shiny Cooper Union building at Astor Place in New York. “The stay at the academy allows you to recalibrate, rethink your objectives, redefine who you are.”

Kentridge wore his new medal as he dined between Nancy Kissinger and Mercedes Bass, the dinner chairwoman. He said he would like enough medals to repeat what an African king did at the coronation of the queen of England: he attended wearing a leisure suit and with a man bearing all his medals.

“So until I have enough this one is staying in the cupboard,” Kentridge said.

Toni Morrison, not wearing her Nobel medal, stopped by Chuck Close’s table, while chef Alice Waters, who conceived the academy’s local, organic meals, checked in with artist Maira Kalman across the room.

Paul LeClerc, former president of the New York Public Library, reported on his new job as director of Columbia University’s Europe Global Center in Paris. One perk: he’ll be closer to the academy in Rome.

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

Today’s Muse highlights include: Martin Gayford reviews Ron Mueck’s art show in London: Rich Jaroslovsky on Kindle; Jason Harper on the Ford Taurus SHO.

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

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

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