A Houston Setting Like No Other — Majestic Oaks and Stunning Chandeliers Set the Stage for a Magical Menil Party in the Park

A $400,000 Outdoor Adventure That's a Major Win For One of the City's Best Museums

BY Shelby Hodge // 10.25.23
photography Lawrence Elizabeth Knox

What:  The Menil Collection “Party in the Park”

Where: Menil Park, a verdant swath punctuated by majestic live oak trees amid the museum’s 30-acre urban campus

The Menil Collection’s Party in the Park (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)
Illa Gaunt, Jamey & Natalie Steen, Tiffany & David Dunning at The Menil Collection’s Party in the Park (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)

PC Moment: The setting sun and sparkling lights highlighted Mark di Suvero‘s monumental steel sculpture Bygones, 1976, which has been on view in Menil Park since the opening of The Menil Collection way back in 1987.

The talented team of Bergner & Johnson transformed the open space into a sumptuous outdoor living area with the addition of crystal chandeliers, strings of party lights and rustic orb-shaped lighting hung from the trees. Comfy lounge settings and tables for dining from the buffet were dressed in festive fall-inspired floral arrangements. The evening was ideal for an al fresco adventure.

Daniel & Kirsten Zimmerman, Rebecca Rabinow, Janie & Daniel Zilkha, Julia & John Stallcup at The Menil Collection’s Party in the Park (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)

The 400 guests found their way through the lavish buffet lines where offerings included tapas plates of barbecue pulled pork on corn cakes, shrimp campechana, bibb lettuce cup with curried cauliflower salad, roasted eggplant with shishito peppers, Coyoacán tamales wrapped in banana leaves, masa-seasoned with chicken, queso Oaxaca and rajas of chile poblano and street corn roasted Brussels sprouts. Dessert was pumpkin cheesecake and frozen shakes spiked with Godiva white chocolate liqueur.

Thanks to the high energy of a Beatles cover band called Beetle, guests found themselves singing along and dancing to the sounds of The Beatles’ most iconic music.

Joining “Evening in the Park” chairs Janie and Daniel Zilkha, Julia and John Stallcup, and Kirsten and Dan Zimmerman was Menil Collection director Rebecca Rabinow. Sponsors for the evening that raised more than $400,000 for the museum’s public programs were Central Houston Cadillac and ExxonMobil.

Nick Nagurski, Alvin Abraham at The Menil Collection’s Party in the Park (Photo by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox)

PC Seen: Meredith and Jean-Marc Monrad, Henrietta Alexander, Alvin Abraham, Sam Lasseter and Dillon Kyle, Cory Rogge, Tripp Carter, Kathy and George Britton, Liz and George DeMontrond, Brad Radoff, Nancy and David Pustka, Katie Whalley and Mason Aboloff, Grace and Will Grundy, Sara Cain and Michael McGinnis, Julie Kinzelman and Christopher Tribble, Claudia Kreisle, and artists Jamal Cyrus and Leslie Hewitt.

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