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Although he is not exactly the new boy in town — he has been the director of The Museum of Modern Art since 1995 — Glenn Lowry’s star has never shone more brightly. Attractive, charming, gifted and a brilliant people person, he is the unanimous darling of MoMA’s board of trustees, who respect and admire him. He is also a big hero to his staff of 600. The rise of the marble magnificence that is the new MoMA is attributed primarily to this born-and-bred New Yorker’s patience, determination, dedication and masterful way of handling everyone involved in this great cultural project. There are those who say that “without him the new museum would never have happened.” Plus all this, he is a family man, happily married to his pretty wife Susan, a landscape artist, with three adorable children.
So who in the world better to honor on Valentine’s Day than Susan and Glenn?
Mercedes and Sid Bass of the billionaire Texas Basses, ardent supporters of MoMA, gave a lavish party at the new museum for 225 Lowry fans and friends. The ladies were asked to dress in Valentine red or New York black. Guess which color won? Still, the ladies in red looked particularly glamorous, especially Mercedes, who wore red satin especially designed for her and the night by Oscar de la Renta.
Because Mercedes is a hostess of note and because the Basses never do anything halfway anyhow — why should they? — the decor was perfect for the occasion, relentlessly hearts and flowers. Robin Lathrop of Perfect Parties by Robin covered the tables in lush red cloth and centered them with red obelisk candleholders suspending mirrored hearts and set in a base of red carnations. Glittery heart-shaped confetti was sprinkled on the tables and the room was surrounded with palm trees, strategically located to provide an atmosphere of intimacy — no matter that there were 225 fashionable bottoms seated on the black-lacquered chairs.
Dinner, served by Glorious Food in the second floor Atrium, was a medley of glazed medallions of salmon, roasted boneless quail stuffed with black truffles and, for dessert, heart-shaped chocolate boxes filled with chocolate mousse. You would have loved it.
Sid Bass gave a speech lauding Glenn Lowry. David Rockefeller Sr., a pillar of MoMA, original and new version, gave a speech lauding Lowry. Lowry gave a speech lauding everyone but Lowry and after all that, it was time to dance to the music of the Gail Curtis Orchestra.
In the perfumed pack were such worthies as Jayne Wrightsman, in sable and satin; Marnie and Donaldson Pillsbury; Dr. Timothy Potts, the director of Fort Worth’s Kimbell Museum, and Mrs. Potts; publisher Mort Zuckerman with the Canadian heiress Louise MacBain; Emily Rafferty, the new head of the Metropolitan Museum; the one and only Bette Midler, she of the porcelain skin and the philanthropic proclivities; her witty husband, Martin von Haselberg; Diana Negroponte (her husband, John — who on Thursday was nominated by President Bush as the country’s first director of national intelligence — was in Iraq, where he is our ambassador); Marlene Hess; Pirkko Ackermann (her husband Josef, the chairman and chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank, was in Asia); Lynn de Rothschild (her husband, Sir Evelyn, was in Australia); Parker Gilbert (he is the chairman of the Morgan Library), and his wife, Gail; Gustavo Cisneros and his wife, Patty (the next night there was a big party at MoMA to introduce his new biography — read about it here next week); John Guare, the famous playwright, and his wife Adele Chatfield-Taylor, of the American Academy in Rome; Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis; Paul Le Clerc of the New York Public Library and his wife, Kathy Ginsberg; Catie and Don Marron; financier Frank Richardson and his wife, Judge Kimba Wood; David Rockefeller Jr.; Jerry Speyer and Katherine Farley; Carroll Petrie with Jamie Figg; Lauren and John Veronis; Shelly Wanger Mortimer and David Mortimer; Sherrie and David Westin of the ABC Westins; the Bruce Wassersteins; Lally Weymouth with Andrew Stein; Gretta Chambers (she is Susan Lowry’s mother); the artist Chuck Close; Anne and David Childs; Annette de la Renta; Kathy and Richard Fuld; Lady Dudley; Drue Heinz; Richard Meier; Faye Wattleton; Liz Mezzacappa; Jamie Niven; Judy and Ed Ney; Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia; Lord and Lady Weidenfeld, and others too cultured to mention.
At the tender age of 20, actress B is already falling prey to the Hollywood image. She thinks, “Everybody in Hollywood is so damn beautiful. It’s hard not to feel pressured. I already use antiaging products. I have an obsessive character. I manicure my nails at three in the morning because no one else knows how to do it right.” Relax, Scarlett, you’ve got one more year before you have to get really nervous.
Along those lines, Jamie Lee Curtis, whose plastic surgery includes liposuction and her eyes, regrets ever having gone under the knife. She says it was a nightmare and it made her much more insecure. “There were some complications and I had a horrible experience, and I’ll never do that again. Plastic surgery doesn’t work. Show me one person who’s had it done who doesn’t look weird, who doesn’t look worse than they did before.” Better skip the Oscars, dear.
Here’s Julianne Moore on the same subject: “I would never, ever have plastic surgery. I know it’s a product of the whole celebrity industry, but it’s something I absolutely detest. I want my daughter to see what is real and not what is fake. I’m a 43-year-old woman and 43-year-old women have lines. I think imperfections are important, just as mistakes are important. You only get to be good by making mistakes and you only get to be real by being imperfect.” In that case, she better not watch the Oscars either.
Bruce Willis is the honorary chairman of the Edwin Gould Services for Children “ARTrageous Projects” on Feb. 27 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Jeff Koons, Ross Bleckner and Hunt Slonem will team up with children in foster care and children of committee members to create artwork that will be auctioned at the organization’s gala on May 25 at Cipriani. Other chairs include Sabina Forbes and Alison Weiss.