A Sweet Farewell: The Parrish Art Museum Midsummer Gala
Your first clue was the number of Rolls Royces parked out front that there was a veritable who’s who of the art, design, and Hamptons social set at the Parrish Art Museum’s Midsummer Gala. This year celebrated the “creative spirit of the East End” on July 14th by honoring director/choreographer Patricia Birch, visual artist Chuck Close, author/historian Barbara Goldsmith, interior designers Tony Ingrao and Randy Kemper, musician G.E. Smith, and choreographer Paul Taylor.
Parrish Executive Director Terrie Sultan commented, “It is bittersweet to celebrate our last Midsummer Party here on the grounds on Jobs Lane. And it is an opportunity for us to honor the Museum’s illustrious past in the Village. But at the same time, it is a rousing send off for us as we look to the Parrish of the future—to a new, world class home in Water Mill, where we will be centrally located for the entire East End audience to see and experience masterworks on view permanently for the first time in the Museum’s history. The next Midsummer Party will be on the lovely covered terrace, and we are certainly looking forward to that!”
Event Co-Chair Alexandra Stanton added of the new museum set to open in the fall, “For anyone who has ever built a house it is amazing that it comes in on budget.” It is a sign of the deep pockets and artistic passion of their generous board and donors that $26 million could be raised in a down economy.
Bridget Fleming who is running for a seat in New York State Senate District #1 noted that these events are not only great for energizing the community but the chance to meet old and new friends as well as constituents. She personally was thrilled to meet honoree Chuck Close.
Ingrao and Kemper commented they were surprised but happy to be honored noting, “There are so many artists on the East End, and there are all forms of art. Design is one, and we’re in charge of placing art in people’s homes and designing around art collections. Tonight is sentimental for us since we’ve been coming here for 25 years since we were kids.”
Artist and sculptor Michael Combs credited the Parrish for his success, “The Parrish Art Museum is very much an ‘artist’s museum’ instrumental along with Dorothy Lichtenstein for pushing my career along with my installation ‘Trophy Room.’ I am forever indebted.” It was at that exhibit that collector and Parrish supporter Beth Rudin DeWoody acquired his famous deer in the S&M suit.
Indeed creative suits also abounded as well as dresses such as the Givenchy birds of paradise suit worn by Dimondo who noted the event is a time to break away from being conservative. What is art without taking a risk.