Hey Fancy People, Here Are the 25 Swankiest Art Parties in America This Summer
Don't miss these very soignée summer soirées.
It’s hard to believe, but Memorial Day weekend is already at hand—which means that the season for some of the art world’s swankiest charitable galas is about to kick into full swing. From New York City to the Hamptons to annual summer destinations like Aspen, Colorado, the social calendar is filling up with lavish soirées that benefit great cultural causes. (They’re pretty fun, too.) Here are the highlights of the coming months’ festivities, with ticket prices starting as low as $50 and heading up to the starry skies.
1. Whitney Studio Party, New York
The Whitney Museum of American Art celebrates the artists of the 2017 Biennial with its annual Studio Party, featuring a performance by Ravi Shavi and DJ sets by Kitty Cash and Sam French. Dress code is “Festive Attire.”
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York
Tuesday, May 23, 9:30 p.m.–1 a.m.
Tickets start at $250.
2. Storefront for Art and Architecture′s Spring Benefit, ARTIFACT
Always good for an upscale bash firmly rooted in intellectualism, Storefront for Art and Architecture asks guests at its annual benefit to consider the “fundamental ideas, organizations, books, buildings, artworks, and places that determine who we are and who we are to become.” Architect Denise Scott Brown and curator and designer Murray Moss are the evening’s honorees, and, as always, the event takes place in a historically significant building, the former United States Custom House erected in 1842.
Federal Hall, 26 Wall Street at Wall Street and Nassau Street; handicap entrance 15 Pine Street, New York
Tuesday, May 23, 7 p.m.–12 a.m.
Tickets start at $75 for the after party, $500 for the full event.
3. BOFFO′s Anti-Narcissists Ball
BOFFO has rebranded its annual spring benefit, noting that “we no longer feel comfortable using the term Narcissists to refer to our friends and supporters.” Thumbing its nose at the Trump administration’s efforts to build a southern border wall, BOFFO is hosting a celebration of Mexican contributions to culture, specifically artists Pia Camil, Raul de Nieves, and Enrique Norten, along with Pablo León de la Barra, UBS Map curator at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
Pulqueria, 11 Doyers Street, New York
Wednesday, May 24, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $100 for the after party, $250 for the full event.
4. International Print Center New York′s Spring Benefit
The International Print Center honors artist Jim Dine, David Kiehl of the Whitney, and dealer Barbara Krakow at its annual gala honoring achievements in printmaking.
Capitale, 130 Bowery, New York
Wednesday, May 24, 7 p.m.
Tickets start at $600.
5. Cool Culture′s the Ungala
Cool Culture, which offers free access to local museums and cultural institutions to low-income New York city children, aims to avoid the stuffiness of a tradition gala at its annual benefit event. Artist Teresita Fernández will be honored with the Innovation Award.
Inter Active Corporation, 527 West 18th Street, New York
Thursday, May 25, 6 p.m.–11 p.m.
Tickets start at $350.
6. The Metropolitan Museum of Art′s Met Spring Gala, New York
You can forget about ever snagging an invite to the Met Ball, but for a less celebrity-laden affair checked out the museum’s spring gala, presenting the Business Committee Civic Leadership Award. It’s held at the Temple of Dendur and features cocktails, dinner, and after hours time in the museum galleries.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York
Thursday, June 1, 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $2,000.
7. The New York Botanical Garden′s Conservatory Ball
Break out the ballgowns at the New York Botanical Garden’s annual black tie affair, this year celebrating their blockbuster Dale Chihuly exhibition. The 20 monumental glass art installations will be open to party guests during the cocktail hour, which will be followed by dinner and dancing in the Conservatory Tent.
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York
Thursday, June 1, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $1,500.
8. The Museum of Modern Art′s Party in the Garden
One of the most anticipated art parties of the summer, MoMA throws open the doors to its Sculpture Garden for this open air affair. The night’s artist honorees are Vija Celmins and Carrie Mae Weems, and James Blake will perform on piano during the After Party.
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, enter the Sculpture Garden Gate on West 54th Street, New York
Monday, June 5, 7 p.m.–1 a.m.
Tickets start at $250 for the after party and $2,500 for dinner.
9. Brooklyn Botanical Garden′s Spring Gala
Break out your “festive botanical attire” for the dinner on the Cherry Esplanade, following cocktails amid the Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s rose garden and native flora garden.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn
Tuesday, June 6, 5:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $500, with $75 after party tickets.
10. Gordon Parks Foundation Awards Dinner and Auction
The foundation set up in honor of leading Civil Rights photographer Gordon Parks will hold its annual awards dinner celebrating the arts and humanitarianism on June 6. There will be a musical performance by Common, and Stephen Colbert, Usher, and Martin Scorsese will be among those presenting the night’s awards.
Cipriani, 100 East 42nd Street, New York
Tuesday, June 6, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $1,000.
11. The Frick Collection′s Spring Garden Party for Fellows
Members at the Fellowship level have one chance each year to enjoy the Frick’s beautiful grounds, otherwise closed to the public. The institution’s second floor offices also open their doors for the occasion. Last year’s party featured live jazz under the magnolia trees as the sun set over Central Park, followed by dancing in the museum’s Music Room.
Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, New York
Wednesday, June 7, 6:30 p.m.–10 p.m.
Tickets are for Fellows (starting at $1,200 membership) and Young Fellows (starting at $500 membership).
12. chashama Gala
If you missed SPRING/BREAK in March, chashama is taking over the same space in the former Condé Nast building with a free-form evening featuring art installations, projects, and performances by 200 artists. Artist Sir Shadow, design consultancy Pentagram, and Joe McMillan, CEO of the DDG Partners real estate company, are the night’s honorees.
4 Times Square, 22nd Floor, entrance on 42nd Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway, New York
Thursday, June 8, 6 p.m.–12 a.m.
Tickets start at $50 for the after party.
13. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston Summer Party
Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is promising a sold out affair for its annual summer party, an elegant black tie affair held in the Shapiro Family Courtyard. The dance party will feature cocktails, dessert, and late-night bites, as well as a private viewing of the current show “Matisse in the Studio″ (through July 9).
Museum of Fine Art Boston, Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston
Saturday, June 10, 9:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m.
Tickets for non-members start at $225.
14. The Glass House Summer Party
The Glass House celebrates its 10th anniversary as a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation with Taittinger champagne, lawn games, and a benefit art auction. Jonah Bokaer Choreography will hold the world premiere of the performance installation The Metamorphoses, and guests can enjoy the Glass House grounds and current exhibitions “Julian Schnabel: Paintings that I hope Philip and David would like” and “Robert Indiana: One Through Zero.”
The Glass House, 199 Elm Street, New Canaan, Connecticut
Saturday, June 10, 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Tickets are $500.
15. ArtsConnection 2017 Benefit Celebration
ArtsConnection looks to raise money for arts education in New York City public schools at its annual fundraising dinner. Hamilton star Daveed Diggs will perform, and Bravo’s Andy Cohen will host.
Battery Park City School, 55 Battery Place, New York
Monday, June 12, 7 p.m.–10 p.m.
Tickets start at $1,000.
16. Storm King Art Center’s Summer Solstice Celebration, New Windsor, New York
Explore Storm King’s expansive grounds as well as the sculpture park’s current exhibitions, “David Smith: The White Sculptures″ “Outlooks: Heather Hart” before enjoying a farm-to-table dinner under the stars courtesy of chef Jess Schenker of New York’s the Gander and chef Shelley Boris of Fresh Company.
Storm King Art Center, 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, New York
Saturday, June 17, 5:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $150 for the reception and $325 for the dinner.
17. Newport Art Museum Artists Ball
You have the choice of bringing your own mask or buying one made by an artist at Newport’s annual summer gala, honoring arts writers Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins. Guests will dance to the tunes of Alex Donner and his Orchestra and enjoy a performance from the Metropolitan Opera singers.
Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Avenue
July 1, 6:30 p.m.–12:00 a.m. Tickets start at $500 for dinner, and $150 for the after party.
18. The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Young Members Party, New York
Break out your best “summer chic” attire for the Met’s annual young members party, with music by Kindness and visuals by Jacolby Satterwhite. If the weather holds, this will be your chance to see this year’s rooftop commission, “Adrián Villar Rojas: The Theater of Disappearance,” open for a pre-party VIP hour. “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between″ and “Irving Penn: Centennial″ will also be open for the occasion.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York
Thursday, July 7, 2016, 6:30 p.m.–11:00 p.m.
Tickets start at $135, but are for museum members between 21 and 45 only.
19. The Parrish Art Museum′s Midsummer Party, Water Mill, New York
It’s worth a trip to the Hamptons for this annual affair, which this year honors Agnes Gund and Clifford Ross. There will be cocktails, dinner, and dancing.
The Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, New York
Saturday, July 15, 7 p.m.
Dinner tickets start at $500 for young patrons.
20. Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation′s 18th Annual Art for Life Gala
RUSH, founded by Russell and Danny Simmons to support arts education for inner city youth, expects upwards of 900 guests for its annual gala. Honorees include artist Sanford Biggers and Chuck D of Public Enemy.
Fairview Farms, 19 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton, New York
Saturday, July 15, 6 p.m.
Tickets start at $1,500.
21. Anderson Ranch′s 21st Annual Recognition Dinner
Snarkitecture will build upon Aspen’s historic Hotel Jerome, creating an architectural environment to serve as a backdrop as the Anderson Ranch honors Wangechi Mutu with the National Artist Award, Jan and Ronnie Greenberg with the Service to the Arts Award, and Ann Korologos with the Extraordinary Leadership Award.
Hotel Jerome, 330 East Main Street, Aspen, Colorado
Thursday, July 20, 6 p.m.
Tickets start at $1,500.
22. LongHouse Reserve′s BOOM! Cosmic Benefit
It won’t be your typical Hamptons “White Party” at the Longhouse Reserve, which is hinting at the possibility of an explosive fireworks show from artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who is being honored alongside Alexandra Munroe, curator of New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
LongHouse Reserve, East Hampton, New York
Saturday, July 22, 6 p.m.–11 p.m.
23. The Watermill Center′s 24th Annual Summer Benefit and Auction, Water Mill, New York
The Watermill Center is honoring Laurie Anderson and her late husband for this year’s sure-to-be-magical gala, titled “Fly Into the Sun.” No word on whether Kanye West will be there, but his much-hyped aborted 2016 performance was supposedly being pushed back to 2017.
Water Mill Center, 39 Watermill Towd Road, New York
Saturday, July 29, 6 p.m.–12 a.m.
Tickets start at $500 for the cocktail party, $1,500 for dinner.
24. The Aspen Art Museum′s Aspen ArtCrush
The art world’s eyes turn to Aspen for three days each August for the annual ArtCrush festivities. Collectors Amy and John Phelan will welcome guests with WineCrush on August 2, while artist Lawrence Weiner will be honored with the 2017 Aspen Award for Art, presented at ArtCrush (the main party of the week) on Friday, August 4.
Various venues in Aspen, including the Aspen Art Museum, 637 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen, Colorado
Tickets start at $1,875.
25. Guild Hall′s Summer Gala, East Hampton, New York
Guild Hall kicks off its annual summer party—”truly a unique Hamptons experience”—with a sneak peek of its “AVEDON” exhibition. The night, which will include dinner and dancing, as well as a live art auction, is a celebration of photographer Richard Avedon.
Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, New York
Friday, August 11, 5:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m.
Tickets start at $50 for young patrons, and $1,250 for dinner.
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