Two Aston Martins were parked outside the residence of British Ambassador Peter Westmacott last night.
The cars and 300 guests were there to celebrate Friday’s opening of “Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains” at the International Spy Museum. The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. Aston Martin Holdings Ltd., Heineken NV, and AgustaWestland were the evening sponsors.
The drink of choice was the British agent’s usual, a good martini.
“Shaken not stirred,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk when asked about his cocktail.
Oysters and shepherd’s pie were handed out as guests surveyed the exhibition. Among the artifacts loaned to the party were Jaws’ metal teeth from 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me” and the book “The Art of War” with a knife stuck in the cover from 2002’s “Die Another Day.”
The exhibition was represented by James Gomez, the president of Malrite Co., which owns the museum, and Milton Maltz, who founded the company and the museum.
Westmacott caught up with White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard. After the reception, guests were treated to a screening of “Skyfall,” 007’s latest adventure, starring Daniel Craig.
Senator Susan Collins, Maine Republican, said she brought along her two nieces to swoon over Craig, although Sean Connery remains her favorite Bond.
“It’s the accent,” said Robin Naysmith, the Scottish Counselor at the British Embassy, sticking up for his fellow Scotsman.
Toy helicopters were given as swag as guests left. Real helicopters, which were provided by AgustaWestland, figure prominently in the new Bond film.
Also last night, Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank stepped out with her husband, Hanns Kuttner, a visiting fellow for the Hudson Institute.
They came to a book party hosted by Hungarian Ambassador Gyorgy Szapary for her old friend Marina von Neumann Whitman, who recently released her memoir, “The Martian’s Daughter.”
The “martian” is her late father, the acclaimed mathematician and Manhattan Project fixture John von Neumann.
Whitman became a business leader, one of the first women on the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, and an accomplished author.
Embarking on her first memoir was a new frontier for her as a writer. “It’s hard for an academic to sound like a human being.”
The event was co-hosted by Debbie Dingell, the wife of Congressman John Dingell, Michigan Democrat, who knew Whitman 30 years ago when both women were working for General Motors Co.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and former Hungarian Finance Minister Mihaly Varga were also present.
(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Joe Mysak on books, Katya Kazakina and Philip Boroff on auctions.