NEW YORK—When Marcia Tucker founded the New Museum 35 years ago, it didn’t even have a real place to show art, just an office in Tribeca used to organize exhibitions off site. It’s come a long way. Last might, the institution celebrated its Coral Anniversary in a style that was very far away from its roots indeed — though one that definitely showcased the vast good will that it has among an extraordinary array of art-world denizens. Famous guests packed into the tony Cipriani Wall Street venue, basking in the glow of animated murals by the likes of Will Cotton and Takeshi Murata projected high onto the walls, before sitting down to a lavish dinner and tribute to abject art legend Paul McCarthy.
The large number of top-tier art stars who turned up for event included everyone from Jeff Koons and Chuck Close to Marilyn Minter and Elizabeth Peyton, as well as George Condo — who was auctioning off a portrait commission to benefit the New Museum — and the man of the hour, McCarthy. Perpetual it-girl Chloë Sevigny — who served as honorary chair of the event, alongside crystal queen Nadja Swarovski — looked particularly sharp in a white men’s suit. After all the schmoozing and some heartfelt words from McCarthy, the evening was capped by a sprightly set from the contemporary Brooklyn funk-pop outfit known as the Pimps of Joytime.
All in all, the lavish event raised $1.6 million for the Bowery museum and drew a bevy of A-listers — not bad for an institution that started with nothing and was dedicated to promoting unknowns.