Wilbur Ross of WL Ross & Co. and his wife, author Hilary Geary Ross, helped host a fundraising dinner last night to support the restoration of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, England, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
The event took over the 10th-floor galleries of Sotheby’s, where art from next week’s sales decorated the walls. Picasso, Matisse and Chagall went nicely with giant bouquets of white and pink roses and bottles of Blenheim Palace mineral water.
Wilbur Ross, a trustee of the Blenheim Foundation, sat with David Koch, Christine Schwarzman, Blaine Trump and Mario Buatta. In another gallery, the foundation’s president, Hilary Geary Ross, sat with John Paulson, Amanda Haynes-Dale, portfolio manager at Pan Reliance Capital Advisors, and Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and chief executive of steelmaker ArcelorMittal.
Interior designer Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, whose father, the 11th Duke of Marlborough, lives at Blenheim and was at last night’s dinner, said two of her favorite objects there are a John Singer Sargent painting of the ninth duke and duchess of Marlborough and a silver charger on the dining-room table.
Spencer-Churchill hosts her own fundraiser at Blenheim for the Churchill Memorial Foundation. Next year’s event will take place on Sept. 12.
Also among the 160 guests: Daniel Ziff, of Ziff Brothers Investments LLC, and Alexandra Lebenthal, president of Lebenthal & Co.
Ronald Lauder and his wife, Jo Carole Lauder, received the Hadrian Award at the World Monument Fund’s annual gala dinner held in the Plaza Hotel ballroom.
The glittering little statuette of the Roman emperor is given to leaders in conserving the world’s art and architecture.
Since the Lauders also like modern things (he is an honorary chairman of the Museum of Modern Art), the event attracted a serious contingent of MoMA-ites, including Director Glenn Lowry and President Emerita Agnes Gund.
Lauder thanked a past chairman of the WMF for getting him involved with the fund: Marilyn Perry, who was also in attendance.
The WMF also recognized Marcela Perez de Cuellar, president of World Monuments Fund Peru. Perez de Cuellar joked that after serving as the wife of a United Nations general secretary, her work with the World Monuments Fund in Peru became her first official titled job.
Her Peruvian support group offered tips for a visit. To fly over: the Nazca Lines. To observe the work of the World Monuments Fund: the Baroque churches of San Juan Bautista de Huaro and San Pedro Apostol de Andahuaylillas, near Cusco. To eat: Astrid & Gaston in Lima.
“You must have the fish,” said architect Pilar Secada, who is working on restoring the Ganoza Chopitea House in Trujillo. “Peru has one of the richest oceans of the world.”
The dinner, which included a generous portion of beets, attracted fund adviser Jean-Marie Eveillard and Leucadia National Corp. President Joseph S. Steinberg.
Martha Stewart occupied a desk in the corner of Bergdorf Goodman’s 7th-floor restaurant last night, signing copies of her new book, “Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations.”
Interior designer Bunny Williams waited in line for Stewart’s signature. Art dealer Richard Feigen mingled in the backroom and Le Cirque’s Sirio Maccioni sat at a table in the front. When record producer Clive Davis arrived, Stewart rose to give him a hug.
As waiters served tuna tartare wrapped in thin cucumber slices, caterer Peter Callahan, a favorite of Stewart’s, brainstormed about new hors d’oeuvres recipes.
Callahan’s approach to party food is to miniaturize the meals people love, as documented in his first book, “Bite by Bite.”
The chill in the air last night got Callahan thinking about Thanksgiving. He suggested tart shells made of stuffing, filled with turkey and gravy; onion tarts filled with peas; and tiny slices of pumpkin pie.
“I love the idea of miniaturizing this holiday,” Callahan said. “For years I have eaten too much at Thanksgiving.”
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)