Last Thursday, The New York Botanical Garden hosted the Conservatory Ball, with its summer exhibition, Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love, as the backdrop. The Garden-wide, multifaceted presentation explores the cultural, horticultural, environmental, and historical significance of what we eat, examines the art and science of foodways and food traditions–many dating back thousands of years-and celebrates plants as foundational to all culinary customs.
The evening, sponsored by DeBeers Jewellers, Hearst and Bartlett Tree Experts, supports the Botanical Garden’s preeminent botanical research, Horticulture, and Children’s Education programs.
The black-tie affair kicked off with a lively cocktail hour; guests were invited to experience the Garden’s immersive exhibition spread across NYBG’s iconic 250-acre landscape. Following cocktails, guests were ushered into the Conservatory Tent for a sit-down dinner and dancing, with music by DJ Kiss.
This year’s attendees included Honorary Chairs Maureen K. and Richard L. Chilton Jr., Ball Chairs Georgina Bloomberg, Lili Buffett, Rebecca Hessel Cohen, Ravenel Curry and Jane Moss, Gillian Hearst, Sharon Jacob, Holly Lowen, Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl, Ariana Rockefeller and Deborah Goodrich Royce. Additional attendees included Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Ivy Getty, Sigourney Weaver, Elsa Majimbo, Sophie Sumner, Douglas Friedman, Paul Arnhold, Gillian Miniter, Fe Fendi, Roze Traore, among others.
In celebration of the evening and their new Butterfly High Jewelry collection, De Beers Jewellers created an immersive installation featuring two floral archways accented with colorful butterflies. As guests departed the Conservatory, they received hand painted butterfly-shaped cookies, along with special butterfly flower garden seed packets to plant at home. Diamonds from the jewelry house were worn by notable attendees including Elsa Majimbo, Ivy Getty, Olivia Palermo, Jessica Wang, Lili Buffett, Ariana Rockefeller, Gillian Hearst, Jenny Cipoletti and Marigay McKee.
Founded in 1891, The New York Botanical Garden is the most comprehensive botanical garden in the world and an integral part of the cultural fabric of New York City, anchored in the Bronx. Visitors come to the Garden to connect with nature for joy, beauty, and respite, and for renowned plant-based exhibitions, music and dance, and poetry and lectures.
Innovative children’s education programs promote environmental sustainability and nutrition awareness, graduate programs educate the next generation of botanists, while engaging classes inspire adults to remain lifelong learners. The 250-acre verdant landscape — which includes a 50-acre, old-growth forest—and the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory support living collections of more than one million plants.
Unparalleled resources are also held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, the world’s most important botanical and horticultural library with 11 million archival items spanning ten centuries, and William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, the largest in the Western Hemisphere with 7.8 million plant and fungal specimens. Committed to protecting the planet’s biodiversity and natural resources, Garden scientists work on-site in cutting-edge molecular labs and in areas worldwide where biodiversity is most at risk.
Photographs by Angela Pham/BFA.com.