Arts / Museums / The Seen

Everything to Know About Art Ball 2024

Themed "Momentum," The DMA's Signature Fundraiser is Dallas' Version of the Met Ball

BY // 03.22.24

Within the stacked Dallas spring social scene, a handful of galas are underlined in bold ink on the calendar, never to be missed (if you can score a ticket that is). Art Ball 2024 is irrefutably among those rarified affairs. The signature fundraiser for the Dallas Museum of Art is Dallas’ version of the Met Ball — where the fashion rivals the illustrious exhibits.

And just like the famed New York gala, themes are crucial to the design and sartorial displays at Art Ball. PaperCity Dallas spoke with this year’s co-chairs, Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld, to get a sense of what guests can expect at Art Ball 2024: Momentum on Saturday, April 13.

Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld (photo by Thomas Garza Photography)
Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld (photo by Thomas Garza Photography)

Why “Momentum?” 

Smith: Paul came up with it.

Von Wupperfeld: I was at the gym actually when it hit me.

Smith: If you think about all the great things happening at the DMA… the education, the outreach programs, the blockbuster exhibitions. It’s now full of people on the weekends thanks to the new grant for free admission on Sundays. The future is bright at the DMA.

Elizabeth Anthony

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ASSAEL
OLYMPIA LE-TAN
EMILY P. WHEELER
EMILY P. WHEELER
MARIA OLIVER
KATHERINE JETTER
MEREDITH YOUNG
LEIGH MAXWELL
MEREDITH YOUNG
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
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Models outside took ‘commitment to the arts’ to a whole new level (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)

What can you tease about the main event?

Von Wupperfeld: Art Ball this year also coincides with that fantastic Impressionism exhibit. It’s fabulous and visually inspires some of the looks you’ll see at Art Ball. 

Smith: The food is going to be fabulous. It truly is art on a plate. I won’t divulge more than that but it will be memorable.

Von Wupperfeld: The live auction is going to be brought back this year. There are going to be some very special experiential things that have been curated to appeal to the folks at Art Ball. Working with Todd Events, the museum staff, and our live auction chairs, we are looking at every point in the evening to see how can we make it special. There’s the pre-dinner cocktail hour, the seated dinner, the auction, and the after party. We want to make sure each and every element is unique and just makes people say wow. 

Smith: The pre-party is “Onward” and the afterparty is “Upward.” 

Tableaux, 60 years of Art Ball at the Dallas Museum of Art
The seated dinner at Art Ball in Dallas. (Photo by Kaitlin Saragusa, BFA)

Tell us about the after party, which you’ve said will be modeled after the iconic Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle in New York. 

Von Wupperfeld: It will be cosmopolitan. It will be chic. It will be cozy. If you’re familiar with Bemelmans Bar and the murals on the wall, all scenes from New York, think of that in terms of Dallas.

Smith: It’s not going to be your typical after party where there’s a DJ and the younger people will stay and dance. It’s going to be something that you will not want to miss. 

Von Wupperfeld: There’s an entertainer coming in from Los Angeles accompanied by a six-piece band. Parents need to get a sitter that night. 

Derek & Christen Wilson, Ken Fulk
Derek and Christen Wilson, Ken Fulk (Photo by Jonathan Zizzo)

What is it like co-chairing with your significant other? 

Von Wupperfeld: Andy and I both worked at Texas Instruments together for many years. I’m a retiree now, but being at TI, we learned ways to work together — each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s very easy for us to share ideas and divide the work up between us. 

Smith: I had the pleasure of co-chairing the 2023 TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon with Elaine Agather last year and oh my gosh I learned so much from her. But it was actually kind of odd working without Paul.

Von Wupperfeld: Ultimately it’s the organization that matters — it’s not about us. And I can promise you our remarks that night will be the shortest remarks ever. Other than Andy’s mother, absolutely no one is there to hear from us.

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