On Friday, November 23rd, the East Hampton Historical Society held a kick-off cocktail party to welcome in the highly anticipated East Hampton House & Garden Tour. This annual event, now in its 34th year, was held at the historical Maidstone Club, ringing in the East End holiday season in style!
The Cocktail Party was well attended by history buffs, local dignitaries, architects, interior designers, home enthusiasts, and design aficionados. Distinguished guests included Jessie Della Femina, Media Sponsor HC&G’s Kendell Cronstrom, Alejandro Saralegui, and Pamela Eldridge, luxury lifestyle blogger Kelli Delaney, architect Ted Porter, actor Maulik Pancholy, designer Barbara Ostrom, and East Hampton Historical Society Board of Trustees members, including President Arthur (Tiger) Graham, James Blauvelt, Jim Oxnam, Barbara Borsack, and Dale Ellen Leff.
The following day, the East Hampton Historical Society hosted the 2018 House & Garden Tour, showcasing some of the finest examples of architecture in the Hamptons. From Sea to Bay and South-of-the-Highway, this year’s tour – comprising five noteworthy homes & gardens – offered a one-time-only glimpse inside some of East Hampton’s most storied residences. With over 600 attendees, the East Hampton House & Garden Tour enjoyed the biggest attendance in their 34-year history.
“The House & Garden Tour is one of our most important fundraisers,” said Event Chairman Joseph Aversano, “and all proceeds will support the East Hampton Historical Society’s museums and programs.”
On November 28th, the China Institute annual Blue Cloud Gala honored Liu Dan, John S. Long, Howard P. Milstein, and Dame Jillian Sackler for their contributions to US-China relations. Co-chaired by Yue-Sai Kan and Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, the evening included performances by the U.S. China Music Institute at Bard College Conservatory and ballroom champion dancers Victor Fung and Anastasia Muravyeva. More than 300 guests crowded the Pierre Hotel Grand Ballroom and raised nearly one million dollars.
Howard P. Milstein was honored for his generous philanthropy and for founding the Milstein Medical Asian American Partnership Foundation. Receiving the award, he said, “It’s a privilege to be able to help support the good work of the China Institute, and it is particularly meaningful because I’ve had the opportunity to benefit from many of their scholarly programs.” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney sent him a special congratulatory video.
John S. Long, founder of the Long Family Foundation, was honored for establishing the University of California Irvine Long Institute, which works to bridge a common understanding between the US and China. “I’m just delighted to be part of this,” said Long. “We do a lot of work with the second generation of Chinese here and that’s something that we and China Institute have been collaborating on.”
Dame Jillian Sackler, philanthropist and chair of the Foreign Policy Association, was recognized for her achievements in East-West cultural diplomacy, including founding the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University in Beijing. “I’m very honored to receive the Blue Cloud Award,” said Dame Jillian. “I feel like a pioneer of museums in China because I built the first teaching museum there in 1993. It was the first modern institution in the country to have state-of-the-art curatorial standards. I feel proud to have begun the realization that museums can contribute to the community.”
Dame Jillian wore a gown created by Chinese designer, Guo Pei. The dress’ half-black, half-white pattern with embroidery and ink took more than 560 hours to make and was meant to symbolize a “cultural collision,” as well as Dame Jillian’s talent for bringing people together.
Liu Dan, one of China’s most significant living artists, was also honored. His award was accepted by Didi Pei. “The construction process is never truly finished because we are always looking to do more, and this is what tonight is really about,” said Pei. “It is an opportunity to highlight all that we have done and set our collective sights on what we will build moving forward.”
The gala also featured a live auction by CK Swett who raised $250,000.
The China Institute is the oldest bicultural, non-profit organization in the US to focus exclusively on China. At the gala, their president, James Heimowitz, announced new projects to come, including launching the US-China Next Generation Philanthropy Initiative, providing opportunities for emerging Chinese and American philanthropists. China Institute will also begin working with Bard College Conservatory to teach traditional Chinese music to New York City communities.
Longhouse Reserve, the sixteen-acre sculpture garden in East Hampton, hosted their annual Holiday Gathering on Saturday, November 24. Over 350 guests toasted the festive season. For the second year in a row, Calvary Baptist Church’s gospel group sang carols. Fresh donuts were fried on the spot by Dreesen’s and consumed immediately. Hot chocolate (with whipped cream and marshmallows) flowed from Distinctive Catering. Guests attached their secret desires to the garden’s Yoko Ono Wish Tree. The party marked the final day of Longhouse’s regular season; however, the grounds are open throughout the winter by appointment (see www.longhouse.org).
Guests included: Gabrielle Bamberger, Sylvia Baruch, Robert Bauchner, Dianne Benson (President of the Board, LongHouse Reserve), Robin Coppola, Jean Frankl, Esther and Ed Gaffron, Elyse von Geick, Jeryl and Michael Goldberg, Judy Greeman, Pradeep Gupta, Karen Hecht, Debra Kooperstein, Kelly Kumzeman, Elaine and Tom Lamorte, Lys Marigold, Marc Miller, Meryl Moss, Christine O’Connell, Mindy Oppenheim, Kerry and Thomas Shelford, Lew Sherwood, Laurie Tomasino, Matko Tomicic (Executive Director, LongHouse Reserve), Wendy van Deusen (Associate Curator, LongHouse Reserve), and Jeff Werden.
Be sure to catch LongHouse founder Jack Lenor Larson on Craft in America’s new episode, “Craft in America: Visionaries”, which will premiere on PBS Friday, December 21 at 10pm EST (check your local listings as times may vary).
Photographs by Richard Lewin (East Hampton Historical Society); Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan (China Institute)