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David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary

30 May 2007

The Ballet, Francophiles, and The Frick

Last Monday night a week ago, The Frick Collection held its annual black tie party for its highest level of supporters including members of the Board of Trustees, Directors Circle, Fellows and Young Fellows.

It was a beautiful late Spring night for a real cross section of people who love The Frick, probably covering three generations. And because of that there was also the feeling of Old New York, something rarely seen anymore around this town.

The evening provided the guests with full access to the permanent collection galleries, as well as the special exhibition George Stubbs (1724 1806): A Celebration which closed this past Sunday.

The weather was splendid and so the outdoor gardens usually unaccessible to the public were open (as well as the interior garden court). In the garden on the Fifth Avenue side guests enjoyed the music of electric cellist Sean Grissom . In the serene elevated garden (by Russell Page ) on 70th Street, the Spring flowers (viburnum, peonies, lilac) were in bloom. In the Garden Court was a mixed planting of multi-colored begonias and floxglove which was coordinated by Frick Horticultural and Special Events Designer Galen Lee.

And in the music room there was the music of the George Gee Orchestra. Mr. Gee's band was tapped to open the Midsummer Night Swing 2007 season at Lincoln Center. The band played music from the 1930s and thereafter from Swing to jazz, to classic rock, R&B, Motown and disco. They were joined by Grammy nominated vocalist Carla Cook. To warm things up everyone was helped by a special pair of guest dancers, the 2006 and 07 International Balboa Champions Mickey Fortanasce and Kelly Arsenault  (along with theier students Heidi Rosenau and Joe McGlynn ). Both couples were fantastic to watch. Made you just wish you could get out there and go.  Ms. Rosenau is also Mrs. McGlynn in real life.

More than 400 attended this very civilized evening, filling the mansion with chic revelry of just plain old good times. Among the guests: Irene Aitken, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Colin Bailey, Patricia Barnett, Robert Becker III and Kate Manganaro, Maia Benson, Board President Margo Bogert and Jeremia Bogert, Katherine Brush, Sarah Camp, Kingsley Carson, Helen Clay Chace (great-granddaughter of Henry Frick), Minturn Chace, Kipton Cronkite, Eileen Dadey, Savros Daskos, Marisa D'Vari, June Dyson, Joanne DuPont Foster, Lynn Roster, Mr. and Mrs. Marco Grassi, Alexis Gregory, Hattie Gruber, Karla and Peter Harwich, Kim Hicks, Bruce C. Horten, Catherine Polisi Jones, Anishka Lakhani, Kristian Bravo Laliberte, Alicia Lubowski, Gracie Mercado, Alison Minton, Mary Ellen and Richard Oldenburg, Director Anne Poulet and Francois Poulet, Ivan and Winnie Phillips, Howard and Mary Phipps, April Pyatt, Walter Rothschild, former Frick Director Charles Ryskamp, Elisabeth Saint Amand, Dr. Nathan Saint Amand, Stanley and Elizabeth Scott, Dana and John Scrymgeour, Suzette de Marigny Smith, Mimi Stafford, Lief Anne Stiles, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Vanderslice, Annabel Vartanian, Coke Ann Wilcox, G Jarvis Wilcox, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Wilmerding and Jennifer Wright .