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The Modern Ball, SFMOMA 2012

BY Damion Matthews - July 5, 2012


Ricky Serbin, Nicole Curran, Paula Carano, Deepa Pakianathan

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art transformed into a multivenue art party this season for its premier fundraising gala, the Modern Ball. The three-tiered event featuring a Gala Dinner, Supper Club and Post-Modern Party designed by Stanlee R. Gatti was chaired by SFMOMA Trustee Dolly Chammas, with honorary chairs Helen and Charles Schwab, and was attended by more than 2,000 guests.

George Chammas and Dolly Chammas

The Bay Area’s biggest art bash of the year, the event completely transformed the museum for the night, with sumptuous fare, flowing cocktails, chic lounges, dancing, art, and a DJ set by acclaimed Montreal-based electrofunk duo Chromeo, which had the crowd throbbing at the zenith of the post-party.

Vanessa Getty
Doug Aitken, Gemma Ponsa

Vanessa Getty – Doug Aitken, Gemma Ponsa

San Franciscans always thrill to dress up for a Stanlee R. Gatti-designed soiree and this affair was no exception with fabulous looks at every turn the true cause for the occasion was to raise critical support that allows SFMOMA to serve more than 50,000 students, teachers, and families with free access to innovative art education programs.

Gary Danko, Gorretti Lo Lui, Greg Lopez

The overall theme of the evening was a nod to Picasso. In the Gala Dinner tent, dramatic blue velvet drapery and neon blue tables lit from within each crowned with a cubist “guitar” centerpiece tipped a hat to Picasso’s Blue Period. In the more laid-back Supper Club tent, rattan decor channeled the artist’s fascination with “Primitivism.”

Sloan Barnett
Christine Suppes

Sloan Barnett – Christine Suppes

The three-tiered affair began in the museum’s Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Atrium with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music by DJ Vin Sol for the Gala Dinner guests, which included honored artist of the night Doug Aitken; former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown; event chair Dolly Chammas (looking stunning in Roberto Cavalli) and George Chammas; honorary event chairs Helen Schwab and Charles Schwab; event sponsor and museum trustee Mimi Haas; celebrity chefs Hubert Keller (who also delighted everyone with a DJ set later in the evening), Michael Tusk, and Gary Danko; SFMOMA board president Bob Fisher and his wife Randi Fisher; Mrs. Donald Fisher; and designer Yves Behar; among 500 other guests including, Norah and Norman Stone, Vanessa Getty, Christine Suppes, Sloan and Roger Barnett, Maria Manetti Shrem and Jan Shrem, Charlotte and George Shultz, Gretchen and Howard Leach, Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, Pat and Bill Wilson, Alexis Swanson Traina and Trevor Traina, Mary and Andy Pilara, and Nicola Miner and Robert Mailer Anderson, to name a few.

Marissa Mayer, Zach Bogue, Matt Paige, Katie Schwab Paige

A surprise “flash mob” of dancers organized by OCD Dance Company took over the atrium in hip-hop sync to announce dinner and led everyone into the Gala Tent, where guests savored a five-star feast featuring McCalls catering, Ruinart champagne, Robert Mondavi wines, and music by Hot Club.

Sabrina Buell
Gina Peterson

Sabrina Buell – Gina Peterson

The highlight of the Gala Dinner was the live auction, featuring five premium lots. Led by Christie’s auctioneer George McNeely, bidding was fast and furious and by the end of the evening, some $485,000 was raised to directly support the museum’s education programs for schoolchildren.

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The centerpiece auction item was 1968 (black), 2011 a spectacular mirrored sculpture by guest artist Doug Aitken which sold after spirited bidding for $230.000, well above its estimate.

Alison Pincus, Eric McDougall
norah stone
Joel Goodrich

Norah Stone and Norman Stone – Joel Goodrich

Afsaneh Akhtari
Joel Goodrich

Afsaneh Akhtari – Allison Speer, Victoria Yeager

Another sought-after item was Giorgio Armani’s Fashion and Art in Paris Package, offering two luxurious nights in Paris and insider access to exclusive Armani runway shows, art tours, and top-notch dining hammering to the lucky bidder for $22,000.

Simultaneously at The Supper Club, partygoers mingled in a stylish lounge with signature cocktails by Patron Tequila, gourmet culinary stations, irresistible dance music by DJ CAMS, and a performance by LA-based pop-disco band Poolside the packed dance floor was definitely a hot spot all night long.

Alexis Traina, Allison Speer
Gorretti Lo Lui, Komal Shah
Karen Caldwell

Gorretti Lo Lui, Komal Shah – Karen Caldwell

Gorretti Lo Lui, Komal Shah
Rich Silverstein, Carla Emil

Marissa Mayer, Angelique Griepp, Ricky Serbin – Rich Silverstein, Carla Emil

Gala Dinner and Supper Club guests then converged with additional party people at the completely sold-out Post-Modern Party, centered in the museum’s soaring atrium, with bubbly by Chandon and late-night bites by Aziza, Bix, Tacolicious, and others.

Bandel Carano, Paula Carano

Chromeo held court on the decks and Patron’s crowd-favorite photo booth was in demand all night long. All the action and fabulous fashion was captured on video by crews from the Academy of Art University’s School of Multimedia Communications.

Dick Kramlich, Maria Manetti Shrem, Pam Kramlich
Saturn Jones, Ava Berlin
Maria Sullivan, Cameron Phleger

Saturn Jones, Ava Berlin – Sloan Barnett, Lisa Pritzker

Melissa Boxer Zill, Marie Carr
Maria Sullivan, Cameron Phleger

Melissa Boxer Zill, Marie Carr – Maria Sullivan, Cameron Phleger

The Modern Ball’s many generous sponsors included the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, and lead support from Wells Fargo and Giorgio Armani. Other crucial support was provided by: media sponsor San Francisco magazine; wine sponsor Robert Mondavi Winery; champagne sponsors Ruinart and Chandon; Post-Modern Party media sponsor SPIN; production services provided by Got Light?; spirits sponsor Patr n Tequila; Gala Dinner Media Sponsor Nob Hill Gazette; and water sponsors Crystal Geyser Water Company and Crystal Geyser Spring Water by CG Roxane.



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