Over 400 guests attended the Museum of Art’s Benefit Art Auction on Saturday, November 16th. The event, co-chaired by MCA board member Cari B. Sacks and Citadel’s Kenneth C. Griffin is their premier fundraiser which featured work by some of the most well-known contemporary artists of our time. These artists include Nick Cave, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Laurie Simmons and Charline von Heyl.
“The extraordinary generosity that takes place at each of our storied auctions is an essential part of realizing the MCA’s ardent commitment to creating exhibitions and programs that champion revelatory art and spark civic transformation,” said MCA Director Madeleine Grynsztejn.
Sponsored by Sotherby’s and curated by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling, the splashy event kicked off with cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres in the atrium which featured the boldly printed names in oversized red letters of well-known contemporary artists. Guests had the opportunity to view the art in the galleries that would be auctioned off later that night in both a silent and live auction. But you didn’t have to attend this soiree, art lovers from around the world had the chance to bid on work as well via the MCA’s partnership with premier online art platform Artsy.
After the cocktail reception, guests made their way to the glamorous tent for dinner and the live auction. The tent–enclosed MCA’s sculpture garden–and continued the bold theme throughout. Red and white text that featured both the artists’ names as well as inspiring quotes from female artists.
The high-energy auction was led by Senior Director and Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe Oliver Barker, who auctioned off 14 of the 100 pieces of artwork available for sale. Guests then indulged in a dinner by MCA Catering that started off with a chopped salad, while sampling delicious shared plates of chicken liver mousse, herbed boursin popovers, and red snapper ceviche. Revelers then enjoyed an entrée was a New York strip steak with Lyonnaise potatoes, roasted corn and gouda soufflé, creamed spinach, and roasted baby carrots with honey which were paired with Thomas Fogarty Chardonnay and Descendientes de J. Palacios Petalos wines. Before heading back to the museum to place final bids, guests indulged on a huckleberry cheesecake.
The event brought in a record-breaking $6 million, which is the most successful in the history of the museum–which also won the record for Midwest museums. American artist Richard Prince had the highest bid of the night with his 2018 painting, “Untitled” which sold for $1.15 million.