The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) may be closed for construction, but the smashing success of its 2014 Modern Ball made it artfully clear that the party is still on. Held on Wednesday, April 30, 2014—which turned out to be an unusually lovely springtime evening—the biennial fund-raising gala was held outside the museum’s walls for the first time, transforming neighboring Yerba Buena Gardens into a gigantic party space with sumptuous fare, flowing cocktails, chic lounges, dancing, and art, and culminating with thrilling performances by co-headliners Holy Ghost! and Passion Pit (DJ set).
The Stanlee R. Gatti–designed soiree, chaired by Christine E. Lamond (looking stunning in a red Valentino gown) with honorary chairs Dolly and George Chammas and Helen and Charles Schwab, brought out more than 2,000 guests, who donned their most fabulous looks as they walked the red carpet, with the expanded SFMOMA building quickly rising just across the street.
The festivities were all for a great cause, as proceeds from the event will go toward SFMOMA’s California-wide exhibitions and innovative education programs. When the museum reopens in 2016, it will welcome three times more K–12 students than before its temporary building closure and will extend free admission to everyone age 18 and under, opening up the world of modern and contemporary art for a new generation. SFMOMA far surpassed its goal for the event, raising $3.2 million to benefit its outreach in the community.
Each of the three signature party venues—The Gala Dinner, The Supper Club, and The Post-Modern Party—had a distinct decor theme: the Gala Dinner tent, dramatically perched atop the gardens’ waterfall, was a striking, minimalist expanse of white. Dan Flavin–inspired neon lights formed the centerpiece of each table, echoing the hundreds of neon lamps dangling overhead, emitting a soft glow over guests as they enjoyed gourmet fare by McCalls, champagne and wine by Moët Hennessy USA, and spirits courtesy of Campari America.
In the Gala tent, SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra kicked off a premier live auction featuring four premium lots led by Andrea Fiuczynski, Chair of Sotheby’s West Coast. A stunning large-scale canvas by Luc Tuymans (courtesy the artist, David Zwirner, New York/London, and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp) was a highlight. Another sought-after item was a celebrity chef package offering a once-in-a-lifetime dinner created by Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, David Kinch of Manresa, Michael Tusk of Quince, and Joshua Skenes of Saison, who boast a stunning eight Michelin stars among them.
In the stylish Supper Club, a riot of bright flower-patterned fabric celebrated the arrival of spring and formed a perfect backdrop for DJ King Most and a silent disco presented by Silent Frisco. The Post-Modern Party, where Supper Club and Gala guests converged with late-night revelers, was decked out with a canopy of giant disco balls and was a hotspot for dancing into the wee hours.
The event hashtag (#Modernball) flooded social media channels.
Distinguished guests included: Alexander Asseily and Anna Gavazzi; Yves Béhar and Sabrina Buell; Gretchen and John Berggruen; Mike Billeci (Wells Fargo); Xochi Birch; Carolyn Chang (in Oscar de la Renta); Katherine Harbin Clammer (in Valentino); Candy Coleman (Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills); Mario Diaz (Wells Fargo); Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein; Mrs. Donald G. Fisher; Randi Fisher and SFMOMA Board President Bob Fisher; Vanessa Getty; Anthony Grant (Sotheby’s); Mimi Haas; Sheila Hackbarth (Moët Hennessy USA); Rupert and Maryellie Johnson; San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim; actress Jaime King (in Valentino) and director Kyle Newman; Mary Jo and Richard Kovacevich; Janet Lamkin (Bank of America); Pierre Lamond; SFMOMA trustee Marissa Mayer (in Valentino) and Zachary Bogue; Ken McNeely (AT&T); Nicola Miner (in Valentino) and Robert Mailer Anderson; Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and wife Jennifer Siebel; actress Connie Nielsen (in Valentino); Mike Ovitz; Jes Pedersen (Webcor); Alison and Mark Pincus; artist Marc Quinn; Komal Shah; Carlos Souza (Valentino); Maria Manetti Shrem and Jan Shrem; Norah and Norman Stone; Katie Traina (in Valentino) and Todd Traina; Robin Vousden (Gagosian Gallery, London); Evan Williams (Twitter co-founder); and Estella and Peter Wong (W Hotels), to name just a few.
The 2014 Modern Ball’s many generous sponsors included the Fisher Family, the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Christine and Pierre Lamond, Helen and Charles Schwab, Wells Fargo, Valentino, AT&T, Sotheby’s, Webcor, and San Francisco magazine. Other crucial support was provided by hotel partner W San Francisco, spirits partner Campari America, and champagne and wine sponsor Moët Hennessy USA, as well as in-kind partners B Restaurant & Bar, City View at Metreon, Classic Party Rentals, Crystal Geyser Water Company and Crystal Geyser Spring Water by CG Roxane, Got Light, and Samovar Tea Lounge.
Full honorary and event committee lists, and more details about the event, are available here.
ABOUT SFMOMA’S EXPANSION
SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project to open in 2016 that will significantly enhance its gallery, education, and public spaces, enabling the museum to better showcase more of its expanded permanent collection.
While the museum’s building is temporarily closed for construction, from June 3, 2013, to early 2016, SFMOMA will be “on the go” with an extensive array of off-site programming across the Bay Area, including collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, major outdoor projects and commissioned installations, and new education initiatives. Learn more