13 Exclusive Summer Art Parties You Can’t Get Into

Ready to hit the summer party circuit?

Storm King Art Center's Summer Solstice Celebration. Courtesy Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.
Storm King Art Center's Summer Solstice Celebration. Courtesy Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.

There’s nothing like the summer for a swanky party. Something about the warm weather makes everything seem more festive, and if you have the money to shell out, there are plenty of high-end affairs to attend, from New York and the Hamptons, to as far afield as Aspen, Colorado.

For the rest of us, here are 13 amazing high-end soirées worth daydreaming about while you’re spending the summer stuck in the office.

Cocktail hour at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden/Silk Studio, Inc.

Cocktail hour at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden/Silk Studio, Inc.

1. Brooklyn Botanical Garden‘s Japanese Garden Centennial Gala
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is turning 100 this year, and the festivities get underway with “strolling cocktails,” followed by dinner on the Cherry Esplanade. Honoree Toshiko Akiyoshi, an internationally-recognized jazz pianist and composer, will perform. The after party, kicking off at 9:00 p.m., will feature dessert and dancing.
The Japanese Garden Centennial Gala takes place at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 5:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m. Tickets start at $500, with $65 after party tickets. 

The MFA Boston Summer Party. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

The MFA Boston Summer Party. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

2. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston Summer Party
“City chic meets garden green,” Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is billing its summer party, which transforms its Shapiro Family Courtyard into an elegant ball room for the black tie affair. A silent auction is followed by music, cocktails, dessert, and dancing, while VIPs can attend a pre-party reception in the museum galleries.
The Summer Party takes place at the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Saturday, June 11, 2016, 9:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m. Tickets for non-members start at $200.

The Glass House Summer Party. Courtesy of the Glass House/Sandra Hamburg

The Glass House Summer Party. Courtesy of the Glass House/Sandra Hamburg

3. The Glass House Summer Party
This just might be the priciest picnic ever, featuring a DJ, ping pong, flowing champagne, and the chance to enjoy the Glass House grounds, where “Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden” is currently on view.
The Summer Party takes place at the Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut, Saturday, June 11, 2016, 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Tickets are $500.

Ugo Rondinone's <em>Hell, Yes!</em> sculpture on the New Museum in New York. Courtesy of Lauren F. Friedman, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Ugo Rondinone’s Hell, Yes! sculpture on the New Museum in New York. Courtesy of Lauren F. Friedman, via Flickr Creative Commons.

4. New Museum “Hell, Yes!” Party
The view from the New Museum’s Sky Room terrace is always astonishing. Soak in all in during a sunset cocktail hour, and enjoy exhibitions from the likes of Cally Spooner and Nicole Eisenman at the institution’s summer party, named for the beloved neon-lit Ugo Rondinone rainbow sculpture that decorated the building’s façade from December 2007 to November 2010.
The “Hell, Yes!” party takes place at the New Museum, New York, on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are for members only. 

Guests at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Summer Fête. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Guests at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Summer Fête. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Summer Fête, New York
The Met Ball may be forever out of reach, but there’s always the museum’s summer gala, also held in the American Wing’s beautiful Charles Engelhard Court. It’s a black tie affair, with cocktails, dinner, and dancing to the sounds of Tom Clark and the High Action Boys.
The Summer Fête takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on Thursday, June 16, 2016, 7:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. Tickets start at $500.

Storm King Art Center's Summer Solstice Celebration. Courtesy Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.

Storm King Art Center’s Summer Solstice Celebration. Courtesy Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.

6. Storm King Art Center‘s Summer Solstice Celebration, New Windsor, New York
Things get started with an al fresco reception featuring signature cocktails and artisanal microbrew beer, while guests get a chance to enjoy the current exhibitions featuring Dennis Oppenheim and Josephine Halvorson. Following an intimate, farm-to-table dinner from celebrity chef Amanda Freitag, held in the di Suvero fields, the evening ends with live music by the Distractions Band, dancing, and dessert.
The Summer Solstice Celebration takes place at Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York, on Saturday, June 18, 5:00 p.m. Tickets start at $150. 

The Newport Art Museum’s John N.A. Griswold House lit up for the 2015 Beaux Arts Ball. Courtesy of Nick Mele for the Newport Art Museum.

The Newport Art Museum’s John N.A. Griswold House lit up for the 2015 Beaux Arts Ball. Courtesy of Nick Mele for the Newport Art Museum.

7. Newport Art Museum Beaux Arts Ball  
Newport’s summer gala will be held under a tent this year, featuring dinner, drinks, and an art auction. Tunes from the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra promise to keep the dance floor full.
The Beaux Arts Ball takes place at the Newport Art Museum, July 2, 2016, 6:30 p.m.–12:00 a.m. Tickets start at $350 for dinner, and at $125 for the gala party and $50 for the after party. 

Cornelia Parker, <em>Transitional Object (PsychoBarn)</em>. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Cornelia Parker, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

8. The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Young Members Party, New York 
The lesser of the museum’s two summer shindigs, this is one is geared toward young members. Festivities include an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and music by Phony Ppl, but the real treat will be the chance to see up close Cornelia Parker‘s stunning roof garden commissionTransitional Object (PsychoBarn).
The Young Members Party will take place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on Thursday, July 7, 2016, 7:30 p.m.–11:00 p.m. Tickets start at $135, but are for museum members between 21 and 35 only. 

Parrish Art Museum Midsummer Party 2014. Courtesy of photographer Joe Schildhorn/BFA.

Parrish Art Museum Midsummer Party 2014. Courtesy of photographer Joe Schildhorn/BFA.

9. The Parrish Art Museum‘s Midsummer Party, Water Mill, New York
An annual highlight of the Hamptons social scene, guests to the Parrish’s Midsummer Party will enjoy cocktails and dancing on the museum’s Mildred C. Brinn Terrace before an after-party full of dancing, and tunes courtesy of Coleman Music.
The Midsummer Party will take place at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, July 9, 2016, 6:30 p.m. Dinner tickets start at $1,500.

Courtesy of Bjarke Orsted/Yoko Ono.

Yoko Ono will be honored at the LongHouse gala. Courtesy of Bjarke Orsted/Yoko Ono.

10. LongHouse Serious Moonlight Party 
Yoko Ono, Ai Weiwei, Cindy Sherman, and others are being honored at this year’s LongHouse Reserve summer gala. The dress code is “night sky and silver.” Guests are invited to arrive ready for adventure, since “interstellar garden happenings” will be occurring before dinner, which will feature a menu by Alice Waters.
The Serious Moonlight party takes place at LongHouse Reserve, East Hampton, New York on Saturday, July 23, 2016, 6:00 p.m. 

The Circus of Stillness... the power over wild beasts: The 22nd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit. Courtesy of photographer Jared Siskin © Patrick McMullan.

The 22nd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit, in 2015. Courtesy of photographer Jared Siskin © Patrick McMullan.

11. The Watermill Center‘s 23rd Annual Summer Benefit and Auction, Water Mill, New York
This summer, the Watermill Center is teaming up with the Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF) for its summer benefit, FADA: House of Madness. BHQF is setting up performances and artworks around the grounds in a Faulkneresque presentation titled As We Lay Dying.
The 23rd Annual Watermill Summer Benefit & Auction will take place at the Water Mill Center, New York, on July 30, 2016, 6:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m. Tickets start at $500.

Amy Phelan at ArtCrush 2012. Courtesy of Billy Farrell/BFA.

Amy Phelan at ArtCrush 2012. Courtesy of Billy Farrell/BFA.

12. Aspen ArtCrush
The Aspen Art Museum’s three-day ArtCrush kicks off with WineCrush, an intimate dinner at the home of Aspen contemporary art collectors Amy and John Phelan. The following day, Aspen’s Baldwin and Casterline|Goodman galleries welcome visitors for the PreviewCrush and PreviewExtra cocktail receptions, offering an early look at the artworks for sale at the ArtCrush auction.

Held at the Aspen Skiing Company’s Buttermilk ski area, the ArtCrush main event will also feature a seated dinner and the presentation of the Aspen Award for Art to Gabriel Orozco, whose solo show at the museum is on view July 29–December 18, 2016. The fun wraps up with AfterPartyCrush at Belly Up Aspen.
Aspen ArtCrush takes place at various venues in Aspen, August 3–5, 2016. Tickets start at $1,875.

GuildHall summer gala. Courtesy of Barry Gordin.

Guild Hall’s gala. Courtesy of Barry Gordin.

13. Guild Hall‘s Summer Gala, East Hampton, New York
After cocktails and a VIP preview of Guild Hall’s “Aspects of Minimalism” exhibition, guests will move to a nearby private home for a seated dinner, followed by music, dancing, and a live art auction.
The Summer Gala takes place at Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York, on August 12, 5:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. Tickets start at $50 for young patrons, and $1,200 for dinner. 


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