MFAH Grand Gala Makes Artful Impact
By Jennifer Roosth – Photography by Jenny Antill, Daniel Ortiz & Wilson Parish
THE SETTING: Nearly 300 guests recently walked the pink carpet for the Grand Gala Ball at the Caroline Wiess Law Building of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Reflecting the theme Abstraction: Moving into Modern, the event featured a curated selection of abstract pieces anchored by Trenton Doyle Hancock’s Good Vegan Procession #5 mounted on the wall of Cullinan Hall. Measuring a massive 54 feet wide by 18 feet high, the mural-scaled backdrop depicts a brightly colored forest glade with silhouettes of over a hundred dancing trees across a field of many colors. The Events Company mirrored the vibrant color palette with fresh floral arrangements in various hues, as well as Lucite tables and chairs to enhance the modern aesthetic. At the base of Cullinan Hall’s staircase, guests posed for pictures in front of a fresh flower wall spanning shades of white, pink, red, lavender, and deep purple roses, while admiring the Harry Winston jewels posed on models atop mirrored platforms in front of the flower wall.
THE STYLE: Remarks were made by Chairman of the Board of Trustees’ Rich Kinder, Director of the MFAH Gary Tinterow, Houston Salon Director of Harry Winston Petra Martinez, and VP North America of Harry Winston Michael Moser. City Kitchen prepared a magnificent three-course dinner, starting with cauliflower soup with preserved lemon and parsley. Guests were also served pan-roasted main lobster with shallots, thyme, and crème fraîche; prime-aged beef tenderloin medallions with Bordelaise sauce; twice-baked Yukon gold potatoes with cheddar and scallions; and asparagus. For dessert, guests enjoyed a lemon meringue tart with raspberry sorbet and raspberry coulis. The event featured live entertainment by Jessie’s Girls, as well as a special performance by Grammy®-Award-winning singer Bruce Hornsby, who was hand-selected by Susanne and Bill Pritchard. Hornsby performed his chart-topping songs for guests, including The Way It Is, The End of Innocence, and Mandolin Rain.
THE PURPOSE: This year’s event, chaired by Susanne and Bill Pritchard, raised a total of $1.9 million to support the Museum’s general operating budget. Supporting local communities and giving hope to those in need has been a hallmark of the House of Harry Winston, the evening’s presenting sponsor, since its founding in 1932.