Inside The SFMOMA Modern Ball

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The SFMOMA last night
The SFMOMA last night

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Last night 2000 revelers gathered at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) for the 2018 Modern Ball. The event, which occurs every other year, is a uniquely San Francisco celebration. It’s an arty anything goes party where old SF collides with new SF. The Modern Ball is one of the few events of the year where the tech bigwigs party with the society set. It’s also just plain good, old-fashioned fun.

Nancy Bechtle, Charlotte Shultz, Sonya Yu and Jane Gruber
Nancy Bechtle, Charlotte Shultz, Sonya Yu and Jane Gruber

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

The evening began at 5:30 p.m with a cocktail reception in the museum’s atrium where guests mingled while sipping Campari and sodas. A live trapeze artist, dangling from the fifth-floor walkway, performed a tantalizing routine. At 7 p.m., dancers holding either green or pink globe lights started to move throughout the space. Guests attending the gala dinner (chaired by Nancy Bechtle and Charlotte Shultz) were to follow the pink lights to their dining room downstairs. Guests attending the supper club dinner (chaired by Jane Gruber and Sonya Yu) followed the green lights upstairs.

Calgary Avansino
Calgary Avansino

Photo Credit: Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

Events guru Stanlee Gatti lavishly decorated each space. Upstairs was transformed into a swanky lounge with low tables and cushiony box chairs. Everything—the tables, chairs, floors, etc.—was covered in banana leaf print. The meal was informal. Cheese and charcuterie awaited hungry guests on the tables. When the energetic crowd, finally sat down, waiters placed platters of salmon, quinoa and black bean salad, steak and creamy polenta, on the tables. It was served family style with guests passing the plates back and forth around the table. Rapper Le1f performed an entertaining show with two booty-shaking backup dancers.

Sabrina Buell, Evan Williams and Sara Williams
Sabrina Buell, Evan Williams and Sara Williams

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Downstairs the dinner was much more formal with assigned seats and a multi-course plated meal. From the walls to the chairs, the entire room was also covered in printed fabric—Marimekko red and yellow floral print. Arrangements of yellow Gerber daisies emphasized the theme. Even the meal reflected the stunning setting with the dessert—a white chocolate and sorbet creation which was made to look like one of the flowers in the Marimekko print. Two items were auctioned off: Ellsworth Kelly’s abstract painting, Red-Orange Relief, and a luxe dinner experience catered by Dominique Crenn.

The Mood Room
The Mood Room

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

After the meals concluded, the two groups reconvened as the event shifted into a late-night cocktail party. Hundreds of new younger guests were let into the museum as electro-pop group Little Dragon performed. A rainbow wall of lights served as a make-shift photo booth, which allowed the stylish party goers to get the perfect Instagram. The post-modern ball was chaired by Patrick Chammas and Anderson Pugash.

Andrew Gn and Carolyn Chang
Andrew Gn and Carolyn Chang

Photo Credit: Jessica Monroy for Drew Altizer Photography

Despite the fact that it was a ball, the dress code for the evening was ‘make a statement’ and there not a ball gown insight. Colorful jumpers and cool cocktail dresses were de rigueur. Dr. Carolyn Chang was radiant in a frothy red Givenchy number. Chrisa Pappas was regal in a sleek white Valentino dress. Sobia Shaikh was flirty in a short Marc Jacobs long-sleeved gold dress. Lisa Zabelle was modern in a sleek silver vintage Fendi look.

Chuck Schwab, Helen Schwab, Katie Schwab Paige, Ken Paige, Gary Pomerantz and Carrie Schwab Pomerantz
Chuck Schwab, Helen Schwab, Katie Schwab Paige, Ken Paige, Gary Pomerantz and Carrie Schwab Pomerantz

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Chrisa Pappas
Chrisa Pappas

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

OJ Shansby and John Berggruen
OJ Shansby and John Berggruen

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

A dancer
A dancer

Photo Credit: Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

Courtney Dallaire
Courtney Dallaire

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Kelcey Morton and Jeremy Stoppelman
Kelcey Morton and Jeremy Stoppelman

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue
Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue

Photo Credit: Jessica Monroy for Drew Altizer Photography

Raphaela Lipinsky and John Fisher
Raphaela Lipinsky and John Fisher

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Katie Traina
Katie Traina

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Joe Lacob and Nicole Curran
Joe Lacob and Nicole Curran

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Sergey Brin and Nicole Shanahan
Sergey Brin and Nicole Shanahan

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Dominique Crenn and Nicole Lou
Dominique Crenn and Nicole Lou

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Vanessa Getty
Vanessa Getty

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Little Dragon
Little Dragon

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Little Dragon
Little Dragon

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

A trapeze artist
A trapeze artist

Photo Credit: Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography

Mark George
Mark George

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Kate Harbin Clammer
Kate Harbin Clammer

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Willie Brown
Willie Brown

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

A DJ
A DJ

Photo Credit: Devlin Shand for Drew Altizer Photography

Yves Behar and Sabrina Buell
Yves Behar and Sabrina Buell

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Larry Baer and Pam Baer
Larry Baer and Pam Baer

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

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