PaperCity Magazine

January 2018- Houston

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Page 19 of 83

18 SUPERMOON+ ART STARS Shelby Hodge surveys a Luminous night for the Menil. Additional reporting Catherine D. Anspon. Photography David A. Brown, Jenny Antill Clifton, Daniel Ortiz. W ith Max Ernst's mini-masterpiece Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as in- spiration, the 30th anniversary celebra- tion of The Menil Collection lived up to its title — "Luminous." The epic evening soared to the lunar heights suggested in the painting that the artist gifted to Dominique and John de Menil in 1955. The black-tie gala, held beneath a sea of fl oating orbs (pearls or moons, one might ask), drew Houston crème de la crème along with art-world luminaries. Their combined largesse brought the soirée to a resounding success with proceeds of $2.5 million. Only the fourth gala in the museum's storied history, this evening was particularly grand with the galleries open for viewing both before and after the seated dinner, which was admirably executed in the hands of Jackson and Company. Two elaborately decorated party tents (thank you Todd Fiscus) were necessary to accommodate the dinner for close to 600, and the adjoining bar scene that preceded the dinner hour and then later kicked into high gear for dancing to Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo. Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison made a surprise PA and performed a few sets with Kidjo on stage, too. LEADING LADIES The high energy of the night was palpable from the start as the trio of glamorous gala chairs —Allison Sarofi m in Valentino, Leigh Smith in Elie Saab and Phoebe Tudor in Elizabeth Kennedy — welcomed the well-heeled entourage. Stuart Parr, Reggie Smith and Bobby Tudor joined their ladies in chairing the gala. Leading the lineup of guests was the evening's honoree Louisa Stude Sarofi m, recognized for her years at the helm of the Menil Foundation as chair and life trustee, having been handpicked by Dominique de Menil as her successor. Board president Janet Hobby served as emcee for the program that saluted Sarofi m. The most heartfelt remarks of the evening came from the honoree's daughter, Allison. "I often think how lucky I am to be your daughter. You have taught me to be creative, open-minded and independent in both my thoughts and action and to be forever curious … You are a bright star that inspires gently." THE SUPERMOON CONNECTION The timing of the gala was carefully planned to coincide with the eve of the Supermoon, a nod to the full moon rising over the landscape in the Ernst painting that was on view in the museum's Surrealist galleries. None shone brighter in the night's proverbial moonlight than the honoree. "Over the past decades, Mrs. Sarofi m has led the Menil Collection with unwavering grace, determination, and generosity," said Menil director Rebecca Rabinow. Supermoon on a Super Night Janet & Paul Hobby Chairs Leigh & Reggie Smith Chairs Bobby & Phoebe Tudor Ann & Mathew Wolf Sharon Johnston & Mark Lee Randy Powers, Bill Caudell Rebecca Rabinow Matt Ringel William Taylor Alison Leland Sheridan & John Eddie Williams Carlos Mota Chair Allison Sarofi m Stephen Newton Ceron Betty Newton

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