A cabbage sold for several hundred thousand dollars last night. The grocery shopping took place at a preview of the Art Show, an annual fair organized by the Art Dealers Association of America.
To get into the market when it opened at 5:30 p.m., collectors had paid as much as $2,000. Later admissions were sold for $150 and $275.
Early birds at the fair -- which runs through Sunday and features 70 dealers -- included Donald B. Marron, chairman and chief executive officer of Lightyear Capital LLC; Peter S. Kraus, chairman and CEO of AllianceBernstein LP/USA; Israel A. Englander, chairman and CEO of Millenium Management LLC; investor Stephen Robert; and Wilbur Ross, chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Co.
Ross was one of the first to check out the cabbage, formally known as “Choupatte” (2011). It is a copper and bronze sculpture cast from nature by French artist Claude Lalanne, who bought the vegetable, almost two feet in diameter and standing on two bird’s feet, at a local market. It was featured at the corner booth of Paul Kasmin Gallery.
Up the aisle at the Park Avenue Armory, another collector stocked up on some Andy Warhol Campbell Soup Cans, at the booth of Richard L. Feigen & Co.
“It’s a shopper’s paradise,” said Marc Glimcher, president of Pace Gallery. “I already bought two things,” he added as he took a bite of a potato pancake with smoked salmon. Pace is devoting its booth to paintings by Chinese artist Zhang Huan, selling for as much as $100,000. They are all made with temple ash -- burned incense used as paint.
Ticket proceeds and a $25,000 sponsorship deal paid by jeweler David Yurman benefited the Henry Street Settlement. David Garza, the nonprofit’s executive director, said he was also grateful for a $250,000 grant from Microsoft to expand the settlement’s workforce development center.
A Princeton powwow over by the spring rolls included Jeremy Diamond, managing director of Fixed Income Discount Advisory Co.; Alexandra Lebenthal, president and CEO of Alexandra & James Co.; Liz Peek, a financial writer; and Jeff Peek, vice chairman of investment banking at Barclays Capital.
Diamond and Lebenthal, who met at Princeton, are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary today. As Lebenthal is attending a CEO conference tonight, the couple celebrated over the weekend.
Diamond serenaded the love of his life with Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” “Hey Hey What Can I Do” by Led Zeppelin, Elvis Costello’s “Every Day I Write the Book,” and Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.”
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the art and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)