Society / Featured Parties

Grand Gala Builds Anticipation for New MFAH Building, Raises a Cool $1.9 Million

With Bruce Hornsby and Nancy and Rich Kinder Love, This Night Was Guaranteed to be Stunning

BY // 10.09.19

On this this propitious evening, art to fill all senses swept through the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on a wave of anticipation of what was to come — the 2020 opening of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, dedicated to MFAH collections originating after 1900. Thus, the “Abstraction: Moving Into Modern” theme of the Grand Gala Ball that saluted all things modern while contributing $1.9 million to museum coffers.

The north foyer of the Caroline Weiss Law building was dressed in 10 works that will be housed in the new building, among the artists represented were Joseph Albers, Ray Parker and Gerhard Richter. The visual entrée to the hallowed black-tie evening was in keeping with the oeuvre of gala chairs Susanne and Bill Pritchard, nationally-recognized collectors of abstract expressionists.

The artwork, including the 54-foot long mural Good Vegan Procession #5 by artist Trenton Doyle Hancock which served as dramatic backdrop in Cullinan Hall, provided the visual stimulation. The artful florals by The Events Company delivered the scent of gardens and additional colorful inspiration. Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Bruce Hornsby commanded the aural senses as did dance band Jessie’s Girls. City Kitchen swathed the tastebuds with its sophisticated surf and turf dinner.

And then there were the diamonds. Yes, ladies in the house had pulled their sparklers and other gems from the vaults.

But it was Harry Winston, Grand Gala Ball presenting sponsor, which added the ultimate glamour to the evening with beautiful models draped in grand diamond pieces. Participation of the famed diamond house was an element of the Harry Winston Brilliant Futures Charitable Program, launched in 2010 in support of leading organizations around the world that strive to remove barriers for disadvantaged youth and enable healthy futures. Harry Winston vice president Michael Moser jetted in for the evening, accompanied by Houston store director Petra Martinez.

The ladies posed before a grand wall of roses that served as an elegant backdrop for selfies. The Events Company decor also included clear acrylic tables swathed with bold strips of paint and flanked by ghost chairs, all adding to the modern feel of the night.

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In the bevy of air kisses that launched the dinner/dance for close to 300 of the city’s top tier, fashionable standouts accepting the challenge to dress colorfully included Lynn Wyatt in Alice + Olivia, Margaret Alkek Williams in a brilliant kaleidoscope-patterned gown by Bob Mackie, Susan Sarofim in a stunning ruby red gown by Andrew Gn, Aliyya Stude in a sleek ensemble by Adam Lippes, and Carol Linn besting the color mode in a frothy black frock by J Mendel.

PC Seen: Nancy and Rich Kinder, Cherie and Jim Flores, Sara Paschall Dodd, Michelle and Frank Hevrdejs, Fayez Sarofim, Franci Neely, Andrew and Mona Sarofim, Sultana and Moez Mangalji, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson, Anne Duncan, Whitney and Jim Crane, Marcy Taub Wessel and Tom Wessel, Lisa and Ralph Eads, Bonner and George Ball, Meredith Flores and Mason Barker, Alana Flores, Michelle and Frank Hvredejs, Trenton Doyle Hancock and JooYoung Choi, Cathy and Joe Cleary, Beth Madison, and Ann and Karl Stern.

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