From symphonies to theater, October marks the start of the cultural season. But this fall, the festivities really kicked into high gear with one of the most anticipated openings in the art world.
The new Lynda and Stewart Resnick Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art made its debut with a splashy opening night extravaganza. Local moguls David Geffen and Terry Semel hosted the event along with committee members Wendy Goldberg, Carole Bayer Sager and Eva Chow. Malibu was well represented with David Foster, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Eli and Edythe Broad, and Mark Burnett and Roma Downey in the crowd.
Five time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera provided the musical backdrop for the bash, putting her famous pipes to good use. Christina turned heads in a floaty Versace gown and then wowed by belting out hits like “Beautiful.” The red-hot songbird was thrilled to be a part of it all. “As a member of the Los Angeles arts community, I am honored to celebrate the opening of the pavilion,” she said. “The building is a physical testament to the Resnicks’ dedication to helping the arts thrive.”
Sure there was plenty of food, fashion and entertainment, but the centerpiece was the pavilion itself. The sleek 45,000 square foot structure was designed by famed architect Renzo Piano. It is the largest naturally lit, open plan museum space in the world and was made possible thanks to a generous $45 million grant to the Museum’s Transformation Campaign.
As guests mingled, they were able to check out a fascinating array of exhibitions. “Eye for the Sensual” featured selections from the Resnick Collection while “Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail” had sumptuous styles from 1700-1915. The garments on display were not only pieces of clothing, they were pieces of history.
Standouts included the bejeweled and feathered turban made by famed French designer Paul Poiret for the lavish “Thousand and Second Night” party in 1911, Neoclassical Empire styles of Napoleon’s court and a jaw-dropping black satin gilt-covered gown crafted for Queen Maria II of Portugal.
On the non-fashion front there was “Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico,” with monumental structures and sculptures produced by Mexico’s earliest civilizations.
Lynda Resnick, who has been a longtime LACMA booster, couldn’t be happier with her new pavilion’s warm reception. “Stewart and I are delighted to participate in the transformation of one of our city’s most beloved institutions,” she said. “As art collectors and LACMA supporters, we could think of no better way to buttress this rapidly evolving museum than to create additional space for the exhibition of art.”
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