As guests arrived at the Whitney Art Party at Skylight on Hudson Street on Wednesday, June 17th, the coat check was crowded with young men and women who unwillingly had to wear a jacket due to the cold weather. Socialite Lydia Hearst had just stopped by to say hello. “I have a plane to catch at 5 in the morning so I have to go home!” Ms. Hearst said.
Standing on the cement floor among palm trees was the stunning actress Lake Bell, wearing a red dress with silver lining down the front. “It’s always a fun party,” Ms. Bell said of the event. She was standing with her good friend Emily Baker, an artist. “I thought I would bring her and she would appreciate the art as well. I was an artist as a kid, and I’m very much interested in purchasing items and supporting young artists.” Ms Bell said. “I’m trying to create my own collection, and not necessarily the stuff I can afford.”
Each room in the venue looked the same. Tall walls, as white as a fresh piece of paper. Large white cushions for guests’ tired tushes. Actor Bradley Cooper quickly said hello to actress Ali Larter, telling her she looked absolutely beautiful in her white and gray dress, as Ms. Larter congratulated him, mostly likely for his huge new movie, The Hangover. Ms. Larter said she herself collects art, photography specifically. “I love Lillian Bassman.” Ms Larter said. “I think the Whitney is amazing. It has an incredible collection of American art, and I think it’s important, especially in these times, to come out and support, to get the attention back to the museums. I think that art inspires people during difficult times and I hope that there is always funding, especially to keep the programs alive in the schools.”
Designer Charlotte Ronson was standing with a group of friends, typing away on her BlackBerry. Had she ever been to the Whitney Art Party before? “I don’t remember, to be honest.” Ms. Ronson, a huge fan of photography, said she collects “Henri Benson, along with other photographers.” “ My family has a bunch of wonderful George Condo paintings, which I hope to one day afford.” Or inherit!