On Saturday, July 1, 2017 the Newport Art Museum (NAM) will hold its annual summer gala, the Artists’ Ball. This black-tie optional masked ball will welcome cultural and civic leaders, artists, collectors, patrons of the arts, and other art world notables to the Museum’s largest fundraiser.

Gala co-chairs Elizabeth Ann Kahane, Molly de Ramel, and John Royall along with NAM’s distinguished Board of Trustees are honored to celebrate the acclaimed arts writers, Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins.

Newport native, Dodie Kazanjian, has covered the art world for Vogue since 1989, where she has identified and profiled many of the leading young artists of our time. She is also the founding director of Gallery Met, the contemporary art space at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Her books include Icons, Dodie Goes Shopping, and Alex, a biography of the legendary Alexander Liberman, which she co-authored with Calvin Tomkins.

Calvin Tomkins has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1960. His profile subjects have included everyone from Marcel Duchamp and Buckminster Fuller to Damien Hirst and Frank Gehry. His many books include Living Well is the Best Revenge, Off the Wall: A Portrait of Robert Rauschenberg, The Bride and the Bachelors, and the seminal Duchamp: A Biography.

This enchanting evening in the style of a mysterious, artists’ masquerade ball, carries forward a 100-year-old NAM tradition. Guests will discover beguiling surprises from Estee Lauder Companies, RIB & RHEIN, Atelier Swarovski Crystal Lanvin Jewelry Collection, alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet, Verdura, and The Row, to name a few. Upon entering, guests will be treated to a special performance by singers from the Metropolitan Opera. All galleries will be open for viewing, including two exhibitions by distinguished photographers featuring a tribute to the musical genres of jazz and country music: “Larry Fink: Somewhere There’s Music” and “Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music / Photographs by Henry Horenstein.” A specialty cocktail, wine and passed hors d’oeuvres will be served in an Italianate courtyard setting on the museum’s grounds. Among the celebrity guests will be former gala honorees, Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson and fashion icon Iris Apfel.

Dinner will be enjoyed under a dramatically decorated tent during which a special tribute to the evening’s honorees will be presented by gala co-chairs and the museum’s director.

Silent auction items will be on view and include artwork such as a 1928 photogravure by master photographer Paul Strand, and other treasures including jewelry from David Rovinsky Fine Jewelry, a photo shoot and bespoke locket designed by Monica Rich Kosann, and a one-of-a-kind donation from “Fashion Goddess,” Iris Apfel’s personal collection.

A paddle raise and live auction featuring exotic travel and valuable artwork to benefit NAM’s exceptional arts programming will follow.

Guests will dance the night away to the live music of Alex Donner & His Orchestra. Donner has built a reputation for elegant music that “makes the party swing.” New York Magazine has called him, simply “the best!” The Orchestra has entertained a long list of luminaries over the years, from President George H.W. Bush and the Rockefeller family to Kevin Klein and Queen Noor of Jordan. His recordings have received several Grammy nominations.

David Rovinsky Fine Jewelry and RIB & REIN join as supporting corporate sponsors of the 2017 Artists’ Ball. On display will be Ferrari Race Cars from the Audrain Automobile Collection.

A special VIP event is to be held Friday evening, June 30 at Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s former Newport art studio, which is set along the legendary Cliff Walk. This exclusive viewing will be reserved for those who contribute at the Patron level and above. Gala co-chairs, honorees, and guests will enjoy a private tour of the studio, which will be attended by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s granddaughter Flora Miller Biddle and great granddaughter Fiona Donovan. Ms. Miller Biddle will speak about her book, The Whitney Women and the Museum They Made. Each guest will receive a signed copy of the book. A reception will follow.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).