American Museum of Natural History’s Biggest Annual Gala

A much-anticipated highlight of the fall season, the Museum Gala is the American Museum of Natural History’s largest annual benefit. Approximately 600 guests attended last night’s dazzling ball. Following cocktails in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, guests enjoyed a gourmet dinner and a performance by Dave Matthews in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Wines courtesy of Heron Hill Winery. The evening included a delicious dinner, a live auction hosted by Tom Brokaw, dancing, and  a performance by Dave Matthews in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.

The event’s auction of extraordinary prizes was overseen by auctioneer Jamie Niven of Sotheby’s. This year the winnings included an array of priceless items available only from the Museum including the ultimate behind-the-scenes paleontology tour with Museum Provost and world-famous paleontologist Michael Novacek—including a tour of the Big Bone Room and the Vertebrate Paleontology Lab, lunch in Novacek’s office, and naming rights to the two holiday dinosaurs on the Museum’s grand staircase on Central Park West for the 2009 holiday season;    front-row seats to New York’s one and only Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; dinner and star-gazing with world-renowned astrophysicist and Director of the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium Neil Tyson; a children’s expedition for 10 to view rarely-seen Museum treasures behind the scenes—including an opportunity to touch the Giant Squid, visit with a Museum scientist in his laboratory, hang out with live tortoises, touch live leeches, plus receive tickets to the Night at the Museum Sleepovers, and much more; tickets to legendary Studio 8H for a live recording of Saturday Night Live, followed by dinner with the cast and crew at the after party; the Rockefeller Center package, including coffee with Brian Williams, host of NBC Nightly News, while he shares the story of the journey that led him to be the accomplished news anchor he is today, followed by a personal tour of the NBC news studios; the opportunity to stand under the Rockefeller Christmas Tree during the famous lighting; and tickets to a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

The Gala’s chairs were Jodie and John Eastman, Kathy and Tom Freston, and Alice and Lorne Michaels, and guests who joined were Museum President Ellen V. Futter, other Gala Chairs such as the Museum’s Chairmen of the Board of Trustees Lewis W. Bernard, Bono, Ed Burns, Christy Turlington, Timothy Hutton, Richard and Marcia Mishaan, John and Susan Hess, Caroline Kennedy and Ed Scholssberg, John Alexander and Fiona Waterstreet, Robert and Jennifer Carlock, Jimmy Fallon, Alec Baldwin, Carey Lowell, Jane Buffett, Seth Meyers, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Kenan Thompson, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Bobby Moynihan, Jenny Slate, Abby Elliot, Nassim Pedrad, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Roger Altman, Dick and Diana Beattie, Tom and Meredith Brokaw, Ralph Scholsstein and Jane Hartley, Nancy Garvey, Lynn Sherr, Claire Bernard, Scott and Roxanne Bok, Judy and Archibald Cox, Chappy and Melissa Morris, Steve and Roberta Denning, Jill and Alan Rappaport, Steve and Sue Mandel, Judy Dimon, Marlene Hess and James Zirin, Pemmy Frick, Peter and Susan Solomon, Jonny and Kimberly Kravis Schulhof, Jamie and Lee Niven, Shawn Levy (Director of “Night at the Museum”), Jes and Deby Staley, Karen LeFrak, Kitty and Tom Kempner, Jessie Kempner, Jackie LeFrak, Francine LeFrak, David and Romy Coquillette, Roberto and Allison Mignone, Judy McGrath, Ted and Keryn Mathas, Shelly and George Lazarus, Valerie and Jeffrey Peltier, Candy Barasch, Robert Pohly and Julie Turaj, Bob and Eva Shaye, Tom Glocer, Coco and Arie Kopelman, Robert Zimmerman, Stuart Lane and Bonnie Comley, George and Barbara Bunn, Peter Blanchard, John Sykes, and Connie Spahn.

Proceeds from the evening will help support the Museum’s educational and scientific programming. For exclusive event photos, visit our Events page!