The pARTy in the Garden
Celebrating Phoenix Art Museum’s 60th Anniversary
Text by Phoenix Art Museum Photos by Darrylee Cohen

Above, top: Guets enjoyed a gourmet dinner in Cummings Hall. Bottom, left: The evening began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Dorrance Sculpture Garden. Bottom, right: Honoree Ellen Katz is seated between Teddy Schwarzman and Michael Crow.

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Phoenix Art Museum honored long-time Museum supporters Ellen and Howard Katz, presented Mayor Kate Gallego, and premiered Legends of Speed, its first exhibition exploring the artistry and design of race cars, at The pARTy in the Garden on November 2. The event welcomed more than 400 guests and grossed more than $775,000 in support of exhibitions and arts education programs at the Museum. Since 2007, the pARTy has grossed nearly $10.5 million in support of the Museum. 

Above, left: Milena and Tony Astorga with Jacquie Dorrance. Above right: Honorees Ellen and Howard Katz.

“We are so grateful to everyone who attended this year’s event and, in so doing, made a major impact on Phoenix Art Museum,” said Mark Koenig, the Interim Sybil Harrington Director and Chief Financial Officer of Phoenix Art Museum. “The pARTy in the Garden plays a crucial role in both the history and future of the Museum, and the planning committee truly devoted themselves to creating a beautiful event. Their tireless efforts resulted in an infusion of generous support for Phoenix Art Museum.” 

The gala was chaired by Susan Emerson and Laurie Florkiewicz, who were joined by Margot Knight and Meredith von Arentschildt in planning the annual event. This year’s event honored long-time Museum supporters Ellen and Howard Katz, who were recognized for their volunteer leadership and transformative support over nearly two decades and were presented with an architectural rendering of the Ellen and Howard C. Katz Wing for Modern Art. The 25,000-square-foot wing for modern and contemporary art was first opened in 2006 and was made possible through the generosity of the Katz family. The Honorable Mayor Kate Gallego of the City of Phoenix also presented the Museum with a proclamation recognizing November 18, the official birthday of Phoenix Art Museum, as “Phoenix Art Museum Day” in Phoenix. 

Above, top left: left to right; Michael Bartley, co-chair Susan Emerson and Justin Gonzalez. Top, right: Co-chair Laurie Florkiewicz with Ellen and Howard Katz  Bottom, left: Guests are seated for dinner service in Cummings Hall. Bottom, right: Billie Jo and Judd Herberger.

In addition to fine dining, custom cocktails, and dancing under the stars, guests of the event were treated to the premiere of Legends of Speed, the Museum’s first exhibition exploring the art and design of racing cars, before it officially opened to the public that weekend. With more than 20 cars by Maserati, Ferrari, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and more, the exhibition showcases winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500, the Italian Grand Prix, and other iconic races, all loaned to the Museum by internationally recognized collectors and automotive museums. Additionally, guests were able to view PhxArt60: The Past Decade, a special exhibition presented in the Katz Wing for Modern Art commemorating the Museum’s 60th anniversary and highlighting works acquired over the past ten years. 

Beginning at nine o’clock, The afterpARTy featured a hosted bar, music, and late-night access to the Museum, including Legends of Speed. The art-and-cocktails experience welcomed more than 300 guests, including many gala attendees who stayed to partake in the festive atmosphere. The afterpARTy was sponsored by Men’s Arts Council, Carvana, Arizona Distilling Co., Código 1530 Tequila, and PHX Beer Co. 

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