Art Institute of Chicago Masterpiece 2019







The interactive and electric vibe from cocktails to the after-party featuring a 75-minute set by the legendary Temptations meant that the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute’s Masterpiece 19 gala met co-chair Stephanie Harris’s aim to “have people leave thinking they have seen or experienced something they never had before.”


Co-Chairs Nancy Santi and Stephanie Harris.


Co-Chairs Andi and Jim Gordon with Andrew J. McKenna and Michael and Claire O’Grady.

Harris, along with other gala co-chairs Andrea and Jim Gordon, Nancy and E. Scott Santi, and her husband, John Harris, had invited guests to “knock yourself out” in their choice of attire, and a knockout was surely every guest’s description of the experiences surrounding them that night.

Interactive food displays—from grab and go poke containers, acrylic candelabras dangling with mixed flatbreads, to gazpacho-filled test tube shooters—greeted guests in Modern Wing’s Griffin Court, where local artists had created large scale canvases that stood behind each bar running down the center of soaring court.


Griffin Court transformed.

A special surprise performance by the Chicago Children’s Choir signaled the conclusion of the reception, and guests went out into the starry night to a magnificent tent on the south promenade of Millennium Park popping with shades of acrylic orange reflected off mirrored table tops.


The dining room.

A menu of chilled sweet pea soup and beef tenderloin energized guests for non-stop dancing to the iconic “My Girl,” “Too Proud to Beg,” and “Treat Her Like a Lady”—the Temptations have known all about being experiential since they began their Motown magic in the 1960s.


Enjoying an intimate concert by The Temptations.

Following dinner, guests headed to the after-party (also in the tent) for passed sweets and coffee, including a fun affogato station, and dancing.

From its bright colors to exuberant energy, Masterpiece 2019 was a perfectly composed work of art, from start to rousing finish.


Patrick and Shirley Ryan.


Alexandra and John Nichols.


Shirley and Walter Massey.


Richard Townsend, Scott Johnson, and Gary Metzner.


Jeff and Stephanie Applebaum.


Cathy and Michael Busch.


David and Connie Coolidge.


Lamont Jones and Stacy Sharpe.


Lilibet Kyte, Bridget Levy, Elaine Svigos, and Erin White.


Karen Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr.


King and Caryn Harris.


Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and Bill Wolf.


Linda Johnson Rice.


Ken Griffin and Melissa Bley.


Jenny and Jack Brown.


Keith and Ann Goldstein.

Photo credit: Mark Campbell Productions