The Autumn Dinner is the most anticipated event of the gala season in New York. It takes an important place on social and fundraising calendar of significant philanthropists and supporters of the valuable Frick Collection. It is always an early sell-out because of the unique experience of a sit-down dinner held in the museum’s monumental picture galleries, surrounded by masterpieces dating from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century.
This year’s festive black-tie evening, held at the elegant Frick mansion honored Stephen A. Schwarzman, a trustee of the Frick since 2005. Schwarzman has been a loyal supporter of all aspects of the institution’s initiatives, including a match of donations made to the Annual Fund for the last three years.
Proceeds from the event will help support the full range of programs of The Frick Collection, including educational and curatorial initiatives, and the Frick Art Reference Library. Each year the dinner raises more than $1,000,000.
The evening started with a cocktail reception in the breathtaking 1935 neoclassical Garden Court where guests explored the former Gilded Age residence of Henry Clay Frick and his remarkable collection, including masterpieces by Bellini, Fragonard, Gainsborough, Goya, Holbein, Ingres, Rembrandt, Turner, Velázquez, and Vermeer, among others, and French eighteenth-century furniture and Italian Renaissance bronzes. Also on view were the Frick’s current special exhibitions, Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence, Manet: Three Paintings from the Norton Simon Museum, and Elective Affinities: Edmund de Waal at The Frick Collection.
Guests proceeded to dramatically lit galleries for an evening evocative of one of the great society dinners of Gilded Age New York.
Frick Chairman Betty Eveillard welcomed everyone from the podium in the West Gallery, and thanked guests for their generous support of the Frick and for joining the museum in celebrating the evening’s honoree, Stephen A. Schwarzman.
Later in the evening Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director Ian Wardropper toasted Schwarzman when he was presented with a commemorative silver tray donated by Tiffany & Co.