CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago
, celebrated its highest grossing benefit event in the history of the museum at The Art Auction on Saturday, October 30, 2010, that raised $2,800,000 for MCA programming. The highest winning bid of the night was $640,000 for a new painting by Luc Tuymans, who currently has a feature exhibition on view at the MCA. The event took place at the MCA with the artwork hanging in the museum's galleries. The 550 guests featured a who's who of Chicago philanthropists including Penny Pritzker, Desiree Rogers, Linda Johnson Rice, Neil Bluhm, Jim Gordon, Marty Nesbitt, Gretchen Jordan, Anne Kaplan, Sally Meyers Kolver, Nora Daley Conroy, and Larry and Marilyn Fields. Artist Olafur Eliasson was a special guest. The event was co-chaired by Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand, and Liz and Eric Lefkofsky.
The evening began with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the galleries while guests bid on silent auction works with iPod Touch devices and viewed the live auction artworks. Guests made their way into the elegant tent that enclosed the MCA's sculpture garden. The tent setting, designed by Heffernan Morgan Ronsley, featured a paper and cardboard motif that included cardboard tables, centerpieces, wall coverings, and hanging sculptures. The live auction was led by Sotheby's Oliver Barker, Senior International Specialist, Contemporary Art. Barker is best-known for calling the celebrity-filled (AUCTION) RED to fight AIDS in Africa with Bono and Damien Hirst in 2008.
After the live auction, guests enjoyed a family-style dinner prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering. The menu included: antipasti with an assortment of cured meats, olives, marinated artichokes, and roasted peppers; arugula salad with poached pears in Port wine, a blue cheese wedge, and red wine vinaigrette; plum wine-braised short ribs; potato leek tart; and sweet potato puree.
After dinner, guests moved back into the museum for dessert featuring Halloween-themed treats such as Garrett's caramel and buttered popcorn, candy, cookies, and milk shots. The silent auction concluded and guests enjoyed lounge seating in the galleries and live jazz music by The Marvin Little Band.