Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Modern Wing Opening Gala

The Modern Wing of the Art Institute is finally open. The Board of Trustees and the Women’s Board of the Art Institute Chicago held an opening gala in the honor of the new wing that increases the museum’s size by one-third, making it the second largest museum in the United States. Unique invitations, designed by Renzo Piano, were sent to Chicago’s most elite, including the Mayor of Chicago and his wife Maggie. Over 1,000 guests dressed to the nines in ballroom attire sipped champagne and cocktails inside the massive rotunda. Later in the evening, guests were escorted down Monroe Street under a tented tunnel to Grant Park. There, guests enjoyed a special dinner, catered by George Jewell, inside a giant glass tent decorated in crystal, silver, and white. Dinner was served under silver lighted orbs, before guests were ushered back to the Modern Wing for dessert.

The Modern Wing was designed by Pritzker award winning architect Renzo Piano over the course of the last decade. The 264,000 sq. ft. building holds the museum’s 20th and 21st century collections of contemporary painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, special exhibition areas, an education center, bookstore, and a chic restaurant run by the Levy Group with an even more amazing terrace. The terrace provided excellent views for the evening of the opening gala. The Modern Wing opening gala of the Art Institute costs $100,000 with individual ticket prices for $2,500, Modern Patron table level prices for $25,000, and Modern Benefactor prices for $50,000. The Modern Wing will open for the public May 16.
-Jackie Medler

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Photos by Christine Scott

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