Montblanc, Eustis Warm Up for Inauguration: D.C. Scene
Montblanc North America’s president and chief executive officer, Jan-Patrick Schmitz, celebrated pens and a few dead presidents last night at the St. Regis Hotel.
It was one of the early events for the busy weekend leading up to President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
The artistic director of New York’s Public Theater, Oskar Eustis, revealed that his close friend Tony Kushner wrote his acclaimed screenplay of “Lincoln” in long hand using a Montblanc pen.
Montblanc created a collector’s-edition pen inspired by Abraham Lincoln in an edition of 50 that sold out immediately. The $35,700 pen and counterparts representing Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison were displayed in glass cases in a Montblanc pop-up shop in the St. Regis lobby, where cocktails and crab cakes were served.
Guests admiring the pens included historian Sally Bedell Smith and her husband, Washington Examiner editor Stephen Smith.
The writing instruments are part of Montblanc’s Signatures for Freedom series, which started in 2007. Schmitz keeps a Montblanc Albert Einstein pen in his suit pocket because of his German heritage.
Lewis Lapham, who provides a weekly interview and podcast for Bloomberg News, introduced his new book, “Presidential Miscellany,” published by Thornwillow Press under the patronage of Montblanc.
He and Eustis read quotes from the book such as, “The pay is good and I get to walk to work,” from John F. Kennedy.
Lapham said those looking for a whiff of scandal will be disappointed by the book, which is more about “fun stuff”: meals, pets and hobbies.
Guests, who were given recipes for presidential cocktails - - such as Andrew Jackson’s inaugural orange punch -- in their swag bags, were asked to write notes of congratulations to Obama using Montblanc pens. The St. Regis butler will deliver the missives to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. next week.
There’s something for everyone at this year’s round of inaugural parties.
For foodies, chef Art Smith, who honed his skills in Oprah Winfrey’s kitchen, will throw the Chefs Ball at his restaurant Art and Soul on Capitol Hill Saturday night, with local chefs cooking and proceeds benefitting various charities.
For the environmentalist, there’s the Green Ball at the Newseum Sunday evening, where policy wonks and scientists will converge.
For urban cowboys and cowgirls, the Texas State Society of Washington hosts Saturday night’s “Black Tie & Boots Ball” at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
For anglophiles, British Ambassador Peter Westmacott is hosting a Saturday afternoon inaugural tea at his residence, and fellow Briton Tina Brown, the editor-in-chief and founder of Newsweek/Daily Beast Co., is throwing a brunch at Cafe Milano on Sunday.
The Hollywood crowd is expected at two Monday night events, the Creative Coalition Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts and the Young and Powerful Black Tie Gala at the Mansion on O Street, where John Legend, Vivica Fox and Cory Booker are expected to make appearances.
(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
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