Cancer Center Preview Party
For International Fine Art Show
Story by Roger Webster
Photos by DMI
OW do they do it? Muffie Potter Aston and Mary Davidson, chairmen of the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Preview Party for the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, seemed to make raising almost one million dollars and providing over 1,200 guests with a delightful evening seem easy.
In reality, they put in a tremendous amount of work and then stood in a receiving line, for most of the evening, looking as fresh as homecoming queens, to let everybody know how happy they were to have their support.
The Preview Party is a major source of funding for the SMSKCC volunteer organization, whose mission is to promote the well being of patients and cancer research, and provide public education on the prevention, early detection and treatment of the disease.
Society president Laurie Carson and connoisseur chairmen Pat Buckley, Nan Kempner and Jamie Niven greeted their glamorous committee and guests such as:
Princess Michael of Kent, opera diva Anna Moffo with decorator Melvin Dwork, Roberto and Joanne de Guardiola, Melinda Claire from Minneapolis, Courtney Arnot, William Carson, Sherrell Aston, Jonathan and Somers Farkas, dog painting authority William Secord, Veronica Hearst, Peter and Jamee Gregory, Richard and Kathy Hilton.
Also R. Couri Hay, Derek and Nicole Limbocker, Grace Meigher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Helen Schifter, Daisy Soros, Debbie Bancroft, who was celebrating her birthday, Felicia Taylor, Jonathan Tisch, Bettina Zilkha, Scalamandre’s Mark and Wiggie Bitter, Wendy Carduner, the guiding light of Doubles Club, where there was a dinner afterwards.
Also sculptress Elizabeth de Cuevas, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Anne Ford, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Kelly Posner, Paul and Dayssi Kanavos, Sandra McConnell with photographer Chris Obetz, Donald and Muffy Miller, Alexis Waller, decorators Bruce Bierman, Lisa Jackson, Catherine Aaron and Mario Buatta, Magda Grigorian, Nicole Micco, Barbara and Kevin McLaughlin, CJ Satterwhite, David Patrick Columbia, Mike Cannon, Pamela Fiori, Jill Brooke, Tom Gates, Marcy MacDonald, James Rendall and Jeffrey Hirsch.
There was a quartet of musicians at the entrance arranged by Steven Scott, hors d’oeuvres by Glorious foods, wine donated by Charmer Industries and St. Francis Winery, champagne by Moet & Chandon, gorgeous bouquets of flowers by Lavenders Blue of London and, best of all, the art and antiques flown in from all over the world.
Anna and Brian Haughton, who were there with their beautiful daughter, Emma Jane Haughton, organized the annual show.
As usual, it had a balanced blend of the highest quality Asian art and objects, English, Continental and American furniture, Medieval and Renaissance sculpture and works of art, ceramics and glass, tapestries and textiles, antique arms and armour, jewelry, paintings, watercolors and drawings, historical manuscripts and rare books.
There were even autographed pictures of Humphrey Bogart and Marlene Dietrich.
Among the exhibitors were London firms Apter-Fredericks, John Berwald and S. Marchant and Son, New York dealer Karl Kemp & Associates, Vallois of Paris, Carswell Rush Berlin, Galerie Meyer, Lin and Emile Deletaille, Donald Ellis Gallery Peter Finer, Apter-Fredericks, Ossowski, Mallett, Blitz Antiek En Kunsthandel, and John Eskenazi.
There was one moment when Muffie and Mary decided they needed to sit down.
Someone offered them the challenge, as “chairs,” of picking their favorite chairs of the show for their wee break.
They considered carefully and choose two from of a nineteenth century Hungarian suite, with crescent-shaped backs, that were probably made for the legendary Erödy Palace in Buda and now were part of the exquisite display brought over by Ariane Dandois and her daughter Ondine de Rothschild.