Two thousand art lovers dined and rocked out among monumental sculptures and large-scale art at SFMOMA Wednesday night for the tenth annual Modern Ball, a fundraiser for the modern art museum’s education and acquisition programs.
The biannual event drew heavy-hitter philanthropists like Charles Schwab (who was honored for a decade of leadership) and the Fisher family, founders of Gap, Inc. The art-collecting tech sector was well-represented by Silicon Valley’s Sergey Brin with his partner, Nicole Shanahan, and Kevin Systrom with Michael Krieger, along with Marissa Mayer and her husband Zach Bogue.
The party design and fashion theme was “Make a Statement,” which translated for many into flower power fashions like Allison Speer’s sparking floral Christopher Kane dress. The gala dinner décor was hallucinogenic red and yellow Marimekko-inspired flowers, designed by Stanlee Gattee.
Art philanthropist and tech entrepreneur Komal Shah was wearing an Oscar de la Renta white silk dress embroidered in patterns taken from a painting by Pat Steir, her favorite artist.
“I love the Mod Ball, and find it has the most tech/art/ buzz,” she said. “It’s the intersection of everything creative and world-changing that San Francisco stands for.”
Brin boldly wore a magenta and turquoise tie-dye t-shirt, while date Shanahan was colorful in an Alice & Olivia Beatles collection skirt appliquéd with “Love Me Do.”
Maria Manetti Shrem took a futuristic tech approach in a Chanel Couture tunic top of fringed iridescent polyester film and a clutch ornamented with flashing LED beams.
“It’s a Chanel for a trip into outer space,” commented Shrem, who is heading to London this summer for a lunch in her honor at the Prince Charles-supported Royal Drawing School.
“I’m going to give a speech about the importance of art education there,” she said.
Paris designer Andrew Gn, in town for a trunk show, arrived with Carolyn Chang, who wore red Givenchy from Claire Waight Keller’s second couture collection.
Also eye-catching were Charlotte and George Shultz, Nancy Bechtle, Neal Benezra, O.J. Shansby, Dominique Crenn (her pair of dinners for 26 raised almost a half-million dollars at auction).