An awe-inspiring exhibit and jaw-dropping décor set the stage for a dreamy night at the The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Art of the Islamic Worlds Gala.
The evening began in the MFAH’s Audrey Jones Beck Building with cocktails and a preview of exhibition, “Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands,” one of the most significant private collections of Islamic art in the world featuring more than 100 works, from textiles to paintings.
In an organized exodus, the crowd of 480 guests made their way through the museum’s below-ground tunnel, which runs underneath Main Street to the Caroline Wiess Law Building, to find Cullinan Hall transformed into a picturesque modern garden setting complete with floor-to-ceiling video projections of lush gardens with running fountains, textured tablecloths, acrylic chairs, and centerpieces adorned with white hydrangeas, orchids, and garden roses, orchestrated by The Events Company and Richard Flowers.
As attendees enjoyed a seated dinner catered by City Kitchen, including braised baby artichoke with labneh salad of arugula, beef short rib and grilled salmon with couscous pilaf, remarks were given by Prince Amyn Muhammad, brother of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, and MFAH director Gary Tinterow, who announced a $1 million gift by the evening’s honorary chairs, The Honorable Hushang Ansary and his wife Shahla, to establish the first permanent fund for the Art of the Islamic Worlds department, along with the acquisition of “Layla and Majnun” tile panel.
To end the evening, a dessert bar and tea lounge with cookies, cakes, and macaroons, along with berries, ice cream, and assorted teas, added a sweet touch, performances by Persian Sufi dance artist Banafsheh Sayyad and Iranian percussionist Pejman Hadadi entertained, and spins by DJ Senega kept guests dancing the rest of the night.
Including the generous donation from Ansary's, the black-tie gala raised $1.6 million for the Museum of Fine Art, Houston's Art of the Islamic Worlds department.
“Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands” is on view publicly for the first time now through February 11, 2018.
In the crowd were Mona and Andrew Sarofim, Sima and Masoud Ladjevardian, Sabiha and Omar Rehmatulla, Aliyya and Herman Stude, Nancy and Rich Kinder, Franci Neely, Rania Daniel, Haydeh and Ali Davoudi, Mahnaz and Dari Ansari, Ali Ansari, Khaled Salem, Lutfi Rukab, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Monsour Taghdisi, Françoise and Edward Djerejian, Stuart Rosenberg, Natasha Parvizian Gorgue and Patrick Gorgue, Lucie Dunwoody, Gail and Louis Adler, Dan Zimmerman, Suzanne and Bill Pritchard, Diane Lokey Farb, and Diana and Chase Untermeyer.