SAN FRANCISCO MOMA MODERN BALL 2018 RAISES $4 MILLION
The biannual Modern Ball at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)—always high on my must-attend list—was once again a spectacular event, this year raising $4 million for education and exhibition programs, including free admission for all visitors under age 18.
Some 2,000 reveler-supporters came to have a ball at the ball—a fabulous, international, festively attired mix of all ages and types: VIPs, museum dignitaries, directors, and curators; artists, designers, and gallerists; collectors and art lovers; techies; and the old guard and the new.
Founded in 1935, SFMOMA is credited as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art. Two years ago, the museum completed a $305 million addition designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta that substantially enlarged its space. (You may recall my coverage of the reopening celebration.
The Fisher family has been involved with the museum for years. The museum expansion was prompted when Gap founders Doris Fisher and her husband, the late Donald Fisher, agreed to a l00-year loan of their 1,100-work collection, creating a need for more space.
ON ONE NIGHT, THE MUSEUM OFFERED THREE WAYS TO HAVE A BALL
Major museum supporters were invited to a formally served meal, The Gala Dinner, followed by a live auction and entertainment.
The younger set were welcomed at The Supper Club, where they enjoyed a buffet, live music, and an open bar in a stylish lounge atmosphere with reserved tables.
The company of an even larger segment of young San Franciscans was solicited to attend The Post-Modern Party and enjoy gourmet nibbles and drinks, dancing, and live performances.
COCKTAILS BEFORE THE SEATED DINNER
A pre-dinner cocktail reception was held in the five-story Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Atrium.
SEEN IN THE CROWD
At this so-called ball, there were no ball gowns in sight. Instead, many heeded the request to follow the theme of the evening—“Make a Statement”—and came in very creative get-ups, adding to the fun of the evening.
The ladies showed up in everything from shorts to backless frocks, many in floral prints because it’s spring and the hippie look is back (again). In a town where untucked tee shirts and hoodies prevail, I was pleasantly surprised to see most men wearing jackets.
HONORING CHAIRMAN CHARLES SCHWAB
The 2018 gala also honored Charles Schwab, founder of the brokerage and banking company, for his service as chairman of the museum board for a decade.
The very civic-minded city of San Francisco, draws longtime SFMOMA supporters such as the Gala Chairs Nancy Hellman Bechtle and Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, as well as new ones such as Supper Club Co-Chair Sonya Yu and Supper Club Co-Chair Jane Gruber.
A DAZZLING GALA DINNER IN A LOADING DOCK
For the gala dinner, party designer Stanlee Gatti covered the walls with bright pink and yellow floral fabric, inspired by Marimekko designer Maija Isola, to eye-popping effect.
THE PERFECT AUCTION
I’ve endured many charity auctions that were a snooze, with a never-ending parade of items. But the folks who organized the SFMOMA auction did it right: They offered just two unique items, and in a jiffy raised nearly $3 million.
SUPPER CLUB BASH
To create an informal “supper club” lounge effect, everything was covered with a ’40s- and ’50s-inspired banana leaf print that reminded me of the décor at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “This is where everyone wants to be!” exclaimed one impressed visitor.
Guests dined family-style on a feast that included salmon, quinoa and black bean salad, steak, and creamy polenta, and they were entertained by rapper Le1f and DJ King Most.
THE POST-MODERN PARTY
For the Post-Modern Party, another 1,000 revelers arrived at 9 p.m. to enjoy a bounty of drinks and snacks, to dance, and to be entertained by DJ sets, a photo booth, and live performances until the wee hours.
How clever to provide a way for younger fans to come to the party, introduce them to the museum, and perhaps inspire them to become members.
I loved that such a diverse crowd mixed so comfortably and companionably—and the socializing I saw certainly disproved the notion that everyone today is so fixated on their screens that they can’t hang out and converse with one another.
Hats off to SFMOMA for creating a wonderful event that not only benefitted the museum but also offered such a happy experience to its supporters.
Photography by Drew Altizer, SFMOMA, and Jeanne Lawrence.