Last night, The Frick Collection hosted its annual fall dinner. While Henry Clay Frick’s mansion was still under construction, the Metropolitan Club acted as a valuable agent. Many of the city’s most prominent philanthropists and creatives have flocked to the private club. Towering flower arrangements in shades of red and orange transform the space.
Carolina Herrera’s Wes Gordon and his husband Paul Arnhold were in attendance for the lavish affair. The two gentlemen wore simple dark suits with bare necks and were casually dressed. Around them men in bow ties and corsets paraded through the ornate rooms. Sheets of colorful tulle and yards of sequins flatter these women. Up-and-coming designer Bach Mai shone in a green jacket he made himself.
After cocktails and snacks, guests transitioned to the West Lounge for a delicious dinner. Beneath the soaring 24-foot ceilings, adorned with a celestial mural, revelers enjoyed a fall feast of branzino and steak.
Between classes, museum director Ian Wardropper introduced the guest of honor: Marina Kellen French, whom Wardopper called “this A living landmark of the city”. He didn’t exaggerate. Founded by French in memory of her late parents, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation has enriched and preserved many of New York’s most valuable institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, MoMA PS1, Columbia Business School , Weill Cornell University Medicine, and more. Her relationship with The Frick has a long history. Wardropper presented her with a commemorative silver tray from Christofle to thank her for her years of service.
In her acceptance speech, the French who attended the event with her grandchildren reflected on the The power of art institutions to connect generations. “I’ve cherished this beautiful museum since I was a kid,” French said. “My father just loves coming to Frick, especially to pay homage to St. Francis of the Bellini desert, which is his most Favorite painting. He took me to see it at least once a month. It soon became one of my favorite paintings in New York.”
From the old Met Breuer As seen in The Frick Madison’s creations, the museum’s staff and benefactors are far away, keeping the spirit of the institution alive. The spirit of connection and stamina achieved through a love of art infuses the evening.