San Francisco Social Diary: FOG Design+Art Fair

At San Francisco’s recent FOG Design+Art Fair, some of the nation’s top artists, designers, and galleries were represented. SF’s John Berggruen Gallery, shown here, showcased pieces by such famed artists as Chuck Close, Tom Otterness, and Richard Serra.

By Jeanne Lawrence

FOG rolled in—and this time, San Francisco cheered!

The opening night and inauguration of the FOG Design+Art Fair in San Francisco was one of the chicest and most vibrant evenings I attended recently in the city—an ideal prelude to the glorious Fair itself.

More than 40 of the nation’s top artists, designers, architects, gallerists, and dealers of 20th-century and contemporary design were represented, and the four-day Fair attracted more than 4,000 visitors.

FOG’s organizing committee: Roth Martin, Cathy Topham, Stanlee Gatti, Katie Schwab Paige, Allison Speer, and Douglas Durkin, who spent two years creating the event.

During the FOG Design+Art Fair at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, celebrated style-makers participated in exhibits, presentations, and demonstrations.

Continue reading

San Francisco Social Diary: Social Season 2014

Performer Amber Riley sang against a lovely backdrop of the San Francisco Bay at sunset during the star-studded benefit for UCSF Medical Center, a highlight of the city’s spring social season.

By Jeanne Lawrence

San Francisco seems to be the center of the world right now, and here are just a few more of the events happening around the booming city.

UCSF BENIOFF CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL BENEFIT

This spring, San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall played host to an evening of star-studded entertainment to raise money for both The Painted Turtle camp for chronically ill children and UCSF Medical Center, whose Benioff Children’s Hospital is ranked one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. World News & World Report.

Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center, with award-winning actress Renée Zellweger.

Titled “A Starry Evening of Music, Comedy, and Surprises,” the ambitious event was attended by such celebrities as Annette Bening, Danny DeVito, Kathy Griffin, Josh Groban, Randy Newman, Bonnie Raitt, Amber Riley, and Renée Zellweger.

Anyone who has chaired this kind of event knows how difficult it can be to get the stars to travel the distance and show up. Those who attended the benefit showed a true commitment to the cause.

Continue reading

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

SPRING HAS SPRUNG AT THE DE YOUNG MUSEUM

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.

Continue reading

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

THE ART OF BULGARI: LA DOLCE VITA & BEYOND 1950–1990, AT THE DE YOUNG MUSEUM

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading