San Francisco Social Diary: Second Annual FOG Design+Art Fair Another Winner

The FOG Design+Art Fair Preview Gala was one of the city’s most vibrant events and a great sendoff for the modernist Fair’s second annual showing.


Kickoff Gala One of the Year’s Best Parties

San Francisco—The Old Guard of San Francisco and the young Tech Crowd mixed it up at the preview gala for the FOG Design+Art Fair 2015. It was one of the city’s most vibrant events and a great sendoff for the second annual Fair, a four-day celebration and exploration of modern and contemporary design, architecture, and art.

Already a destination for local and international collections, the Fair showcases dozens of prominent 20th-century and contemporary art and design dealers. Its attractions include dynamic exhibits, custom installations, lectures, and discussions with art and design leaders.

Interior Designer and Steering Committee member Douglas Durkin noted that the Fair reflects the spirit of San Francisco’s progressive community. “We are building FOG Design+Art Fair to be the West Coast destination for contemporary design and art,” he said.

The 2015 FOG Design+Art Fair Preview Gala offered patrons a special preview of exhibits and an exclusive buying opportunity before the Fair was open to the public.


The Preview Gala was a standout even in a city known for spectacular events, drawing 1,200 top gallerists, socialites, members of the design world, architects, artists, style-makers, and young art lovers.

Over 6,000 visitors came to the second annual FOG Design + Art Fair in the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, produced by White Rain Productions.

Guests enjoyed an evening of entertainment, culinary creations by McCalls, and signature cocktails featuring spirits by Campari America.


FOG Design+Art 2014 was the vision of event designer Stanlee Gatti and the late Elaine McKeon, who served as president, board chair, and chair emeritus of SFMOMA for nearly three decades.

This year’s Honorary Co-Chairs were Roselyne Chroman Swig and Susan Swig. Joined by Steering Committee members Gatti, Douglas Durkin, Katie Schwab Paige, Allison Speer, and Cathy Topham, and returning Dealers Committee Chair Roth Martin, this group has created one of the social circuit’s most enthusiastically received events.

FOG Steering Committee members Douglas Durkin, Cathy Topham, Allison Speer, Stanlee Gatti, and Katie Paige.

FOG’s proceeds benefit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project. Opening in 2016, it will house and display the newly donated collection amassed by Gap founders Doris and the late Donald Fisher.

Randi Fisher, SFMOMA Trustee Bob Fisher, and their daughter Emma Fisher.

SFMOMA Board of Trustees Chair Charles Schwab and his wife Helen Schwab with New York-based Laura Paulson of Christie’s (left).

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Director Colin Bailey, SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra, and SFMOMA Curator Joseph Becker.


The preview draws an attractive, stylish younger set. And it was nice to see women dressed to impress and most of the men in suits or jackets: maybe they’re getting tired of tee shirts and jeans uniform!

I bumped into several New York friends who have moved to San Francisco. They told me that East Coaster young people are arriving en masse. Apparently once they taste the San Francisco lifestyle, they’re not returning!

As in New York, I saw women sporting a lot of black: black leather pants, black booties, black stilettos (Many of the ladies in heels expressed a desire for places to rest their feet as the night wore on).

Rudolf Frieling, SFMOMA Curator of Media Arts, with designer Yves BĂ©har.

Christina and Vanessa Getty.

Suzanne Levit, designer Ken Fulk and Mary Beth Shimmon.

Ned Topham, Anne Crawford de Zonia, and Dudley de Zonia.

Darius Himes and SFMOMA Trustee Nion McEvoy.

SFMOMA Trustee Chara Schreyer with Gordon Freund.

Lauran and Justin Tuck.

Paul Weaver, co-founder and former owner of Michael Taylor Design, said, “San Francisco is reclaiming its edge in the design world, putting innovative products to market with an emphasis on quality. FOG is the best of the best.”  He noted, “lots of fresh concepts and directions; no disposable mail order products here!”

Doug Biederbeck and Paul Weaver.

Angella Sprave and Victor Vargas.

O.J. and Gary Shansby with designer Suzanne Tucker.

Victoire Reynal Brown, Anne Waterman, and Augusta Holland.

Joy Venturi Bianchi and Mark Rhoades.

Jay Jeffers, Michael Purdy, Chris Meza, and Gino Castano.

Kay Walker and architect Sandy Walker.

Evan Shively and Madeline Fitzpatrick.

John Atwater, Elaine Asher, Dennis Hearst, and Brooke Chappell.

Kathy Best and John Rosekrans.

Interior Designer Paul Wiseman, Rolando Beramendi, Maria Manetti Shrem, Jan Shrem, and Alex Chases.

One Kings Lane co-founder Alison Pincus, with FOG Steering Committee member Allison Speer.

Art dealer Jeff Fraenkel.


A diverse array of artists, designers, and dealers presented events and panel discussions throughout the Fair’s duration. Attendees loved the freshness of the innovative setup: Browsing was such a pleasant experience, thanks to bright lighting and wide aisles.

In addition to browsing in the galleries and purchasing art, guests could visit pop-up shops selling books and design objects and enjoy fine dining from Cotogna and Jane restaurants.

Seattle’s Winston Wachter Fine Art.

Print works by Joseph Villeneuve and contemporary furniture were on display at Los Angeles’s Gray Gallery.

Reform Gallery, also located in Los Angeles, specializes in postwar California design.

LA’s Edward Cella Art and Architecture exhibited pieces by Kendall Carter, Mara Luca, and Maura Bendet.

San Francisco’s Crown Point Press offered a selection of prints by a range of artists.

San Francisco’s Hedge Gallery presented a new line of limited edition pieces by industrial designer Michael Young and select works by artist Tony Marsh.

Several New York dealers made their first appearance. I loved seeing James Taffin Givenchy of Taffin Gallery, whose uncle is famed fashion designer Hubert Givenchy. A colleague from my days at Christie’s, he left to start his own jewelry design firm.

James de Givenchy of Manhattan’s Taffin Gallery, which focuses on fine craftsmanship and inventive, one-of-a-kind jewelry designs, often sculptural and with a bit of whimsy.

New York’s Todd Merrill Studio featured new works from several contemporary artists and designers.

A standout, New York gallery Friedman Benda presented a colorful explosion of quirky pieces by Misha Kahn.

Chef/Owner Michael Tusk (right), of Cotogna and Quince restaurants, offered rustic Italian fare, including charcuterie portioned on an antique slicer he found in Italy.

Restaurateur Lindsay Tusk, wife of Chef Michael, with Lara Deam.


Designer and Fog co-founder Stanlee Gatti’s popular 21POP returned to the entry pavilion this year with the theme of  “Cotton,” and an exhibit dedicated to “craft by hand.”

21POP: Cotton showed how cotton is produced, from growth to manufacture. Locally produced cotton goods were available for purchase.

Randi Fisher, Llana Alexis, and Stanlee Gatti checked out some cotton goods amid walls made of pressed cotton “bricks.”


Among the representatives of old San Francisco families at the gala was Roth Martin, a co-proprietor of Hedge Gallery along with Steven Volpe. Martin is among the descendants of M. H. De Young, who founded the San Francisco Chronicle and the de Young museum.

Hedge Gallery partners Steven Volpe and Roth Martin.

Emily and Roth Martin.

Also in attendance were Connie Goodyear Baron, great-granddaughter of M.H. de Young, and husband Dr. Barry Baron. Her sister Helen Spalding was with husband Dick Spalding and their son Charlie Spalding, who was in town with the David Zwirner Gallery. Charlie is based in Hong Kong and represents the Gallery in Asia.

Connie Goodyear Baron, Dr. Barry Baron, and Sharon Owsley.

Helen and Dick Spalding.

Hong Kong-based Zwirner Gallery Director Charlie Spalding with and Justine Durrett.

Sixth-generation San Franciscans Jason and Matthew Goldman were also present. Grandsons of the late philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Haas Goldman (a Levi-Strauss heir), the twins have followed their grandfather’s path as fifth-generation graduates of UC Berkeley and now founders of G2 Insurance, a reboot of their grandfather’s business. These are the city’s civic leaders of the future.

Jason Goldman, Jeanne Lawrence, and Matthew Goldman.

FOG also attracted Silicon Valley techies and venture capitalists, among them many newly minted millionaires and billionaires. Members of this crowd are much sought after by today’s cultural leaders who hope to prepare them to take the helm in the future.

Prominent members of the dot-com world supporting FOG included Dave Morin, founder and CEO of social networking service Path and a SFMOMA Trustee; Jill Scully Woodman and Go Pro founder Nick Woodman; Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger; TaskRabbit product manager Kaitlyn Trigger; One Kings Lane co-founder Alison Pincus and husband Mark Pincus, co-founder of online gaming company Zynga; Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman; and Carter Cleveland, founder and CEO of, who spoke at the Innovators Luncheon.

Venture Capitalist Gaurav Garg and his wife Komal Shah, a former Yahoo! executive who’s now involved with SFMOMA and London’s Tate Museum.

Denise Hale and Ken Fulk, interior designer of the new private social club The Battery, established by Bebo social networking site-founders Michael and Xochi Birch.

Naturally, SFMOMA board members were out in full force, including the fascinating Norman and Norah Stone, a couple whose interests include art collecting, wine producing, traveling the world, and avant-garde fashion.

SFMOMA Trustees Norman and Norah Stone.

SFMOMA Trustee Carla Emil with Rich Silverstein.

SFMOMA Trustee Jonathan Gans with Abigail Turin.

Gina Peterson, SFMOMA Trustee Dolly Chammas, and Rebecca Sternthal.

Robert Atwater, SFMOMA Trustee Diana Nelson, with gallerist Jeffrey Frankel.

SFMOMA Trustee Stuart Peterson, Gina Peterson, and Doug Evans.

Ravin Agrawal and SFMOMA Trustee Alka Agrawal.

Diane Chapman, Bob Fisher, and SFMOMA Trustee Kay Woods.

“Young, vibrant people and wonderful art make me want to go home and get rid of my English and French objects and start all over again,” said Interior Designer Diane Chapman.

Dede Wilsey with Genevieve Molat and Pascal Molat, SF Ballet principal dancer.

Katie and Todd Traina.

Victoria Raiser and Helen Hilton Raiser.

Elizabeth and David Birka-­White.

Art dealer Sabrina Buell and husband Yves BĂ©har, founder and principal designer of Fuseproject industrial design firm and CCO of Jawbone fitness tracker.

Mark Buell with Esprit clothing co-founder Susie Tompkins Buell, who was honored at FOG’s inaugural Innovators Luncheon.

Simmone LaCorte, Nick Heldfond, Karen Clammer, Adam Clammer, Stefanie Southerland.

Neiman-Marcus’s James Krohn and Alan Morrell, with Joe Hamersma.

Judy and Ken Siebel, whose daughter Jennifer Newsom is married to California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.

Retired Chief Justice of California Ronald George and his wife Barbara George.

Millicent Powers with Peter and Arlene Michael.

Joachim Bechtle, Sako Fisher, Nancy Bechtle, and Bill Fisher. Nancy was the former President of the SF Symphony and Sako is the current President.

Eleanor Notides of Christie’s, Darius Himes, and Laura Paulson of Christie’s.

Ellen Coleman and Michael Thoben.

Stephanie and Tyler Mitchell.

Caroline and Eduardo Serrano.


Heading for the red wine to pair with the delectable baby lamb chops, I was waylaid when I saw the evening’s specialty drink was a “Winter Negroni.”

The Winter Negroni, courtesy of sponsor Campari America, was a blend of Campari, Bulldog London Dry Gin, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, and for a creative twist on the classic recipe, orange juice.

The gala was scheduled for 6–10, but as I headed out around 9:30, the bartender told me, “The party is just beginning!” I looked around and he was right. Guests were still nibbling, sipping, and browsing—having such a good time they weren’t ready to leave. What a success! This was one of San Francisco’s best-ever events.

Personal thanks for a wonderful time, and kudos to all the FOG sponsors: Premier Corporate Sponsor Citibank, Corporate Sponsors Christie’s and Neiman Marcus, Spirit Sponsor Campari America, Media Sponsors ABC7, C Magazine, Cultured, Dwell, KCRW, and San Francisco magazine, and Online Partner Artsy.


Photography by Drew Altizer and Jeanne Lawrence.

*Urbanite Jeanne Lawrence reports on lifestyle and travel from her homes in San Francisco, Shanghai, and New York, and wherever else she finds a good story.

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