The National Institute of Social Sciences celebrated the 104th annual Gold Medal Dinner on Thursday, November 29 at a private club in New York City. This year, the organization honored Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, philanthropist Geraldine Kunstadter, and Central Park Conservancy founder Elizabeth Barlow Rogers.
National Institute president Fred Larsen hosted the glittering dinner, which attracted 150 members and guests. Since 1913, the National Institute has presented Gold Medals for Distinguished Service to Humanity to a select group of individuals who have made the highest contribution to the improvement of society. The dinner kicked off with the Knickerbocker Greys Color Guard followed by Angela Cason and Winthrop Rutherfurd singing “God Bless America!”
Dr. Kahneman, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton, is the author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, among other books. Mrs. Kunstadter is the president and chair of the Albert Kunstadter Family Foundation, and has served on multiple not-for-profit boards. Mrs. Rogers, who founded the Central Park Conservancy in 1980, is now the president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies.
Trustees in attendance included Barbara Tober, Kent Barwick, Dyke Benjamin, Angela Cason, Joan Davidson, Rob Gregory, Judith Hernstadt, Ron Meyers, Peter Samton, Gracey Stoddard, and as well as honorary trustee Janet Ross. Members included Boo Grace, Michelle Larsen, Betsy Tiffany, James Shields, Caroline Brown, Tertia Kiesel, Susan Gitelson, Michele Jeffery, Jonathan and Madelaine Piel, John Temple Swing, Beth Corman, Will Roseman, and Carey Zuckerman.
Notable guests included Stanley Zareff, Nancy Newcomb, Frederick Negem, Brian Loughman, Frank Rich, Nina Hay, Junia Doan, Andrew and Dawn Delbanco, Jorge and Lourdes Moller Gomez, Ashley Bernhard, Carlos Diaz-Rosillo, Istvan Olah, Donald Tober, Faanya Rose, Kendario LaPierre, James Grossman, Mai Hallingby-Harrison, Leslie Conason, John Puskas, Nancy Hickey, Rod Hickey, Lorna Livingston, Alondra Nelson, Theodore Heineken and Catherine Gates, John Hargraves, Winthrop and Mary Rutherfurd, Emily Rafferty, Elizabeth Smith, and former Gold Medal winner Robert Schiller and his wife, Virginia Schiller.
The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute held the Sophia Award for Excellence Luncheon on December 12th in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Sofía. This was Her Majesty’s first trip to New York City in five years and her first visit to the Institute since the passing of Oscar de la Renta, the beloved former Chairman of the Institute. Her Majesty was in a festive mode and exuded radiance as she graciously greeted guests in a receiving line preceding the event.
The recipients of the Sophia Award for Excellence were legendary Spanish Tenor Placido Domingo and the distinguished Spanish-born ophthalmologist Dr. Elena Barraquer. Both honorees were recognized for their contributions in promoting and strengthening the Spanish-American bond through their extraordinary careers and for their humanitarian work.
The awards ceremony was hosted by current Chairman Fernando Aleu and organized by President and CEO David Askren and Executive Director Patrice Degnan Erquicia. Guests included Dr. Valentín Fuster, numerous dignitaries such as Spanish Ambassador Mr. Santiago Cabanas Ansorena, as well as Reninaldo and Carolina Herrera, Pepe and Emilia Fanjul and many members of Placido Domingo’s family.
The lush floral centerpieces adorning each table created a sparkling atmosphere and were designed by Riccardo Benavides – who is a favorite of the organization.
Placido Domingo made an exuberant entrance as he accepted his award and spoke of his appreciation for his close friendship with Her Majesty. He said that Her Majesty is truly a symbol of grace and wisdom. When accepting her award, Dr. Barraquer shared that it was an honor to be recognized for work that is really her passion.
Her Majesty praised both honorees for their professional and humanitarian contributions and noted that the Sophia Award for Excellence pays tribute to its name, since “Sophia” represents the Greek word for wisdom. Her Majesty thanked the audience for continuing to support the Institute and wished everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute is marking the 65th anniversary of its founding. The Institute continues to offer a variety of programs that include art courses in NYC public schools, Spanish and Latin art exhibitions, health initiatives, art grants, and a lecture series on the three world religions that co-existed in Spain.
On Saturday December 15, 2018, Susan Sarandon, Joel Coen, Chris Noth, and Amy Sacco joined Isabelle Bscher, Krystyna Gmurzynska, and Mathias Rastorfer of Galerie Gmurzynska, and the family of the late artist Wifredo Lam celebrated the opening of the gallery’s debut New York City location (39 East 78th Street), Galerie Gmurzynska US Inc., and its inaugural exhibition, “Le nouveau Nouveau Monde,” by Wifredo Lam.
In the exhibition, Galerie Gmurzynska us Inc. presents a comprehensive look at the oeuvre of Wifredo Lam, the celebrated Chinese-Cuban Surrealist-Cubist painter, accompanied by a catalogue published for this occasion. Renowned art historian Germano Celant toasted the gallery’s opening and introduced the exhibition to guests.
More than 100 friends, collectors, and art-world luminaries gathered for a private reception and cocktail party at the new location to fete the 13,000-square-foot space before moving to The Mark Hotel for a dînatoire. Guests included: Alina Baikova, Martina and Fabian Basabe, Lucas Bscher, Will Cotton, Stacy Engman, Rick Friedberg, Elizabeth Goizeuta, Angela Ho, Eskil Lam, Stephane Lam, Richard and Barbara Lane, Francine Le Frak, Alicia Liu, Micah McLaurin, Claudius Ochsner, Whitney Schott, Ramona Singer, Carly Steel, Trev Stevens, Tatum Summer, and John Ward.
Under the direction of Martin Friedrichs, the gallery will be open from 10am to 6pm Monday through Friday and by appointment. In addition to the third-floor exhibition space, there is a sixth-floor office with additional wall space for the gallery’s extensive collection, which includes work by Roberto Matta, Fernand Léger, and Francesco Vezzoli, whose work will be the subject of an exhibition to open in the New York space in May.
Photographs by Patrick McMullan/PMC & Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com (Gmurzynska)