Glass of the Maharajas, portraits by the great Scavullo, and words of the poetic ones
Studying a series of Francesco Scavullo portraits at Sotheby's for an exhibition of Francesco Scavullo: A Photographic Retrospective.

The Queen of Gwalior made a rare appearance in New York at a cocktail reception at India House, the Indian Consulate at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street to celebrate the Corning Museum of Glass’ international loan exhibition: Glass of the Maharajahs: European Cut Glass Furnishing for Indian Royalty.

The lovely, 30-something Priya Scindia was born Princess of Baroda, married the heir apparent of Gwalior, and became a queen at a very young age upon the untimely death of her father-in-law. Several of the most important examples of glass furniture in the world are in the sumptuous palace of Gwalior, which was built in 1874 in a race against the time to welcome the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). The palace boasts two of the largest glass chandeliers in existence, each weighing three tons.

Also attending the reception: Ms. Neelam Deo, Consul General of India, New York; Maisie and Jamie Houghton, former Chairman and CEO of Corning Incorporated and a trustee of the museum. Also Marie McKee, president and trustee and President and CEO of Steuben Inc.; David Whitehouse, director of the museum, Madhur Jaffrey, BBC star chef and best selling cookbook author, Chandler Rai, president of India Today, and Narayan and Poonam Sarwal Prasad.

The reception itself was held in one of the grandest room of New York of the Gilded Age – an extravagantly detailed ballroom built for Carrie Astor, the youngest daughter of the Mrs. Astor in 1903 as a wedding present on her marriage to Orme Wilson.

Sheila McLean and Maryclaire Frank

Tonima Chatterjee, Rani Rangaraj, and Nam Menon
James Houghton

Marie McKee, Queen of Gwalior Priyadarshini Raje Scindia, and Poonam Prasad

Narayan Prasad, Jane Spillman, and Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk

Jill Spalding and friends

James Houghton, Polly Guth, Maisie Houghton, and friend

Dena Tarshis with Alan and Nancy Cameros

David Burger and Carol Grossman with friends

Chandler Rai

Narayan Prasad

Consul General Neelam Deo, Queen of Gwalior Priyadarshini Raje Scindia, and Poonam Prasad

Madhur Jaffrey, Anju Khanna, and Nina Patel

George and Sandy Garfunkel with Carol Grossman

Rajika Puri, Poonam Prasad, Reena Kashyap, and Monisha Somasekhar

Marie McKee, Queen of Gwalior Priyadarshini Raje Scindia, and David Whitehouse

Jane Spillman with Carl and Elizabeth Pforzheimer III

Tuesday night Sotheby’s opened an exhibition of Francesco Scavullo: A Photographic Retrospective with Pamela Fiori, editor-in-chief of Town & Country, and Helen Gurley Brown, Founding Editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, and now e-I-c of Cosmo International speaking about their friend and esteemed fashion photographer. Helen hired Scavullo to do the Cosmo covers and it was a marriage that lasted for many years and was the signature of the Cosmo look. The event featured a live auction of vintage Scavullo photographs which was conducted by Sotheby’s auctioneer, James G. Niven.

Scavullo photographed the most famous personalities of the 20th century. Despite his own personal struggle with bipolar disorder, he had a productive and brilliant career until he died at the age of 82. Francesco Scavullo shot every cover of Cosmopolitan for thirty years as well as working for Vogue, Rolling Stone, Interview, Town & Country, Seventeen, Harper's Bazaar, Elle and other top fashion magazines throughout the world.

He could make any woman look beautiful and glamorous. And sometimes objective that was purposely challenged, the subject running just this side of risking ridicule. But the subject didn’t have to worry because Scavullo never failed.

Until shortly before his death, he and his longtime partner Sean Byrnes were stalwart and popular denizens of the New York Art/Social/Cultural scene. Byrnes and Scavullo lived through all its transitions with a charming presence as unbiased observers.

Event Co-Chair Katie Zorn: “We hope this event will raise awareness of the devastating impact of mental illness on our society, while introducing an audience of young professionals to Fountain House – a venerable New York City mental health organization with a unique rehabilitation model – one that really works.”

“The partnership between the Scavullo Foundation and Fountain House for this retrospective is a logical one. Mr. Scavullo is a shining example of what people with mental illness can achieve. His prolific body of work speaks to that. And Fountain House exists to help people with these illnesses every day to reach their goals and dreams and reclaim their lives,” said Co-Chair Lil Phillips of Lehman Brothers Private Investment Management.

The Sotheby’s evening brought out a cross-section of ages because Scavullo had such an eclectic devoted group of friends and acquaintances. An association with Scavullo was an association with chic and beauty.

Fountain House is an award-winning, 60-year old non-profit organization that provides housing, employment, wellness and educational services to men, women and young adults with major mental illness.  Through its holistic model of support, Fountain House helps some 1,300 people each year regain their dignity, independence and health.

Byrdie Bell and Olivia Palermo

Matt Alviani and Kelly Killoren Bensimon
Chris Ford and Allison Woolworth

Peggy Siegal, Lady Lilliana Cavendish, and Elizabeth Fekkai

Josie Stevenson, Ali Zweben, Natalie Leeds-Levanthal, and Minnie Mortimer
Miguelina Gambaccini and Marisa Noel Brown

Beri Smither

Debbie Bancroft
Hallie Chrisman and Jade Khouri
Alex Lind Rose

Beth DeWoody

Blaine Trump
Carol Alt
Charlotte Ronson
Elisabeth Gutowski

Derek Blasberg and Claire Bernard

R. Couri Hay, Marcia Holtzer, and Barklay Butera

Andy Albert and Annie Churchill

Ivanka Trump, Pepe Fanjul, and Christina Floyd

Dylan Lauren

Elizabeth Riley
Eleanor Ylvisaker
Kate Parfet
Lara Meiland

Zani Gugelmann

P.J. Pascual and Claudia Mata
Minnie Mortimer
Kari and Carl Tiedemann

Carmen Dell'Orifice and Helen Gurley Brown

Jamie Niven
Denise and Larry Wohl

Also on Tuesday night at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, The Academy of American Poets held its 4th annual “Poetry And the Creative Mind,” to benefit the Academy and to celebrate National Poetry Month. The evening featured readings by Meryl Streep, Ed Harris, Minnie Driver, Wynton Maresalis, Wendy Whelan, Oliver Sacks, Gloria Vanderbilt, Mike Wallace and William Wegman. Is that brilliant enough for you lovers of New York who are lovers of poetry.

Clockwise from above: Andrew Senchak, Robert Pinsky, and Barbara Senchak; Gloria Vanderbilt, Andrew Slaby, Dianne Wiest, and Jeanette Sanger; Alan Alda; Meryl Streep.

Jeanette Sanger, Barbara Ascher, and Beth Harrison

Jeanette Sanger and Barbara Hoffman
Andrew Solomon and Julie Sheehan

Andrew Senchak, Barbara Senchak, and William Wegman

Virginia Mailman, Susan Weitz, and Barbara Ascher
L. to r.: Helen Hecht and Tree Swenson; Mel Yoken and Mike Wallace; Mike Wallace and Rose Styron.

Barbara Ascher and Wendy Whelan

Gloria Vanderbilt and Chip Kidd
Helen Hecht and J. D. McClatchy

Photographs by ©Patrick McMullan.


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