East End Artists, Art Collectors Pack Tony Parrish Museum Gala

Tara Donovan, in front of a Slinky sculpture she created for the Parrish Museum, at the museum's gala last Saturday. (Photo: courtesy Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com)

Tara Donovan, in front of a Slinky sculpture she created for the Parrish Art Museum, at the museum’s gala last Saturday. (Photo: courtesy Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com)

Dealers, collectors, artists and socialites flooded the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill last Saturday evening for the Midsummer Party, where some tables set donors back a cool $50,000.

Diamond baron Henri Barguirdjian, real estate royalty Jane and David Walentas, designer Nicole Miller and financier-turned-collector Frederic Seegal hob-knobbed with a variety of East Enders as they admired Tara Donovan’s intricate Slinky sculptures.

Revelers were flanked by Chuck Close photography, which lined the halls of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed museum. The exhibition, Chuck Close Photographs, is on display until July 26.

The setting for the Parrish Museum's 45th annual Midsummer gala. (Photo: courtesy Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com)

The setting for the Parrish Art Museum’s 45th annual Midsummer gala. (Photo: courtesy Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com)

The outdoor area was festooned with vintage Ferraris and Astin Martins from the personal collection of Julian Ellison, the founder of television station LiveAuctioneers. Barons of real estate and finance puffed cigars while assessing the vehicles as their wives tottered on high heels unsuited for the grass.

Ms. Donovan was in attendance, as were many other artists whose works is on display at the Parrish: Donald Sultan, Malcolm Morley, Eric Fischl, Alice Aycock and Jules Feiffer. Mr. Close couldn’t make it.

Museum director Terrie Sultan said the museum straddles two goals with its programming: bringing world-class art to the Hamptons, while making sure to keep the fare decidedly local.

The interior of the Parrish Museum. (Photo: courtesy Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com)

The interior of the Parrish Art Museum. (Photo: courtesy Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com)

“We’re lucky, we have great locals,” she said, highlighting Mr. Close’s Long Island connection and the history of artists from painters to photographer Cindy Sherman who’ve called Long Island their home or made it their subject.

The event raised more than $1 million for the museum, according to a representative.

The food by Olivier Cheng was very Hamptons housewife: pea shoots, a filet of black cod with a single heirloom tomato and a delicious apricot tart.

Three years after moving to the built-to-suit wood and glass hangar from a tiny Southampton space, the Parrish appears to be prospering.

“I love it,” said Stewart F. Lane, the Tony award-winning Broadway producer who sat across from the Observer at dinner, gesturing to the grand open terrace where the meal was served. Mr. Lane and his wife Bonnie Comley have supported the museum for years, he said, and will continue to do so.

East End Artists, Art Collectors Pack Tony Parrish Museum Gala