Maybe it’s because it’s the hot fashion trend, and maybe it’s because everyone knew it would be difficult to upstage architect Mario Botta’s dramatic new building. Whatever the reason, Conservative Chic was the dominant style at the hotly anticipated opening gala of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last week.
Gowns by Carolina Herrera, Bill Blass and Mary McFadden dressed up a party that capped two weeks of celebrations and was for museum supporters who donated more than $100,000 each. Guests included Leonard and Evelyn Lauder, Frances and John Bowes, Evelyn and Walter Haas and Doris and Don Fisher.
Also on hand were artists William Klein, David Ireland and Sigmar Polke.
Botta, the evening’s hero, was there, of course, to accept kudos for his $90 million structure that is being touted by critics as the biggest and best American modern art museum outside of New York. “This garden of earthly delights was made possible by the poets, artists, scientists and businessmen who are here tonight,” said Botta.
Evelyn Lauder said she didn’t expect to like the building, but found herself enchanted by it.
“The first sketches made it seem overdesigned,” she said. “I was worried that the art would get lost.”