San Francisco Social Diary: Art Happenings in the City

One of the stunning art-inspired floral displays of the de Young Museum’s Bouquets to Art exhibition, this aerial design by Waterlily Pond Studio’s Natasha Lisitsa, Daniel Schultz, and Carla Parkinson used 1,500 apple branches, 1,500 roses, 300 anthurium, and 120 feet of copper tubing.

By Jeanne Lawrence


In March, the San Francisco de Young Museum celebrated its 30th annual Bouquets to Art exhibition—floral interpretations of art from its collections. The Bay Area florists chosen to participate once again delivered spectacular results.

The annual five-day exhibition showcases the work of 130 innovative floral designers and raises more money than any other Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) event. Of the 74,000-plus visitors who attended the show, more than 700 signed up for new museum memberships.

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San Francisco Social Diary: The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950–1990, at the de Young Museum

The copper-clad de Young Museum building, designed by renowned Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, is located in Golden Gate Park amid 1,000 acres of parkland.

By Jeanne Lawrence


San Francisco—The de Young Museum launched The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990 with a glamorous opening night party this fall. Featuring approximately 150 of the renowned Italian jewelry house’s creations, the exhibition will continue until February 17, 2014.

At the exclusive gala for only 280, the dinner guests went all out, with the fashionistas wearing beautiful evening gowns accented with their best Bulgari baubles. Flying in for the occasion was Bulgari VP Nicola Bulgari and his daughter Veronica, and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin.

Jewelry, sketches, and archival materials are all on view at The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950-1990.

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Shanghai Social Diary in New York: Museum of Chinese in America

The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is currently presenting two fashion exhibitions highlighting Chinese designs, like this red Vera Wang wedding dress.

By Jeanne Lawrence

New York – The recently relocated Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in Chinatown here has two wonderful fashioned-themed exhibits on view until September 29. I was among the guests Board Chair Patty Tang and Executive Director Helen Koh invited to a preview.

MOCA has relocated to a former factory redesigned by architect and Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer Maya Lin in New York’s Chinatown.

The sleek new MOCA, located at 211-215 Centre Street, turned out to be a hidden jewel—a former machine shop transformed into museum space by Chinese-American architect Maya Lin, the acclaimed designer of Washington’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial (she was just a 21-year-old Yale senior when she won the memorial’s design competition in 1982).

Ms. Lin, Ms. Koh, and guest curator Mei Mei Rado accompanied us through a tour of the two exhibits, Shanghai Glamour: New Women 1910s-40s and Front Row: Chinese American Designers.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Spring Events

The San Francisco Exploratorium, an interactive science museum, recently opened at Pier 15 on San Francisco’s waterfront, with the city’s downtown district lit behind it.

By Jeanne Lawrence


One evening, some friends and I headed over to Pier 15 to try out the new Seaglass Restaurant at the newly opened Exploratorium museum that enjoyed its grand opening on April 17, 2013.

The beloved Exploratorium was based for 40 years in the Palace of Fine Arts, a building dating back to the 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair. It is an interactive museum of art, science, and human perception, founded by Frank Oppenheimer in 1969 to make science fun for all ages.

The Exploratorium needed an update. Instead of renovating the old space, after much discussion, it was decided to move it to the Embarcadero, the stretch along the city’s eastern waterfront. I predict it’s going to be one of the most popular destinations for all.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Spring in the City

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco presented the exhibition China’s Terra Cotta Warriors, one of the greatest archaeological finds of our time.

By Jeanne Lawrence


Through the end of May, the Asian Art Museum (AAM) of San Francisco is exhibiting terra cotta warrior statues from the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang (259-206 BCE), who unified the country in 221 BCE.

The exhibit explores the emperor’s reign and influence. Qin leaders, much like the Egyptian Pharaohs, were buried with their wealth so they could carry it into the afterlife.

Discovered in 1974 in Xi’an in northern China by farmers digging a well, Emperor Qin’s riches-filled tomb is guarded by more than 7,000 life-size terra cotta warriors, horses, chariots, and more than 10,000 weapons, with more excavation continuing today.

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