Gauguin Under the Stars






Transforming the Art Institute’s McKinlock Court into a night in Tahiti for a sold-out crowd of 250 guests was the latest feat of magic by the Old Masters Society.


A magical dinner set up in the museum’s McKinlock Court.

Celebrating the blockbuster Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist exhibition, the evening began with a presentation by the renowned exhibition curator and Chair of the European Painting and Sculpture Department, Gloria Groom, who provided insights into the artist and the intricacies of the acclaimed exhibition, which has drawn around-the-block crowds for the Art Institute. Old Masters Society members and their guests were invited by President Laura de Frise to view the exhibition and toast its success with a signature Tahitian tropical cocktail before dining al fresco.


Event co‐chair Virginia Bobins; OMS Vice President – Programs, Lynda Canel; exhibition curator, Gloria Groom; event co‐chair Gary Metzner; and OMS President, Laura de Frise in the Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist exhibition.


Gloria Groom kicks off the evening with a short lecture about the exhibition to a full house.

Benefit Co-chairs, Virginia Bobins and Gary Metzner, painted their own South Seas effect with lush tropical centerpieces, floral tablecloths, and lighting mirroring stars on a balmy night. Guitarist Andy Brown set the musical sultry scene.

As Laura related:

“The entire night was incredibly memorable from the magical exhibition viewing to the majestic dinner in the garden of McKinlock Court. In my last year as president of the Old Masters Society, I felt lucky and privileged to be a part of this amazing and beautiful evening of celebration, and of the members who do so much to support our mission.  

Lynda Canel, our program chair, is fabulous and knows how best to connect the dots while still having fun. Virginia and Gary were so creative with their ideas, so open and available with their time, so enthusiastic with their energy, so generous with their benefit committee support, so in tune with every detail, and so determined to make the evening a success. They succeeded in every way with a sold-out evening and by raising substantial funds for future Old Masters projects.”

The Old Masters Society of the Art Institute of Chicago plays an important role in the museum’s community through contributions towards acquisitions, research, publications, exhibitions, and lectures that foster an understanding of the great art of the past and an appreciation of collecting.

Virginia Bobins summed it up perfectly:

Gary and I were so thrilled to have an event during mid-summer that was so greatly attended. We were blessed to have a perfect evening under the stars!”


Bart Imielski, Eunice Buehler, Cody Ernst, and Jonathan Canel,


Shirley Ryan, event co-chair Virginia Bobins, and Gloria Kaufman.


Steve Zick, OMS Board Member Phyllis Neiman, and Lois and Nowell Korey.


Event co-­chair Gary Metzner between his brother David Metzner and father Mark Metzner.


Steven Rugo; OMS President, Laura de Frise; OMS Board Member Tom Keim; and Gloria Groom.


OMS Board Members April Schink, Ronald Allen, and Patricia Heestand.


AIC Chair and Curator of Prints and Drawings, Kevin Salatino; OMS Vice President – Programming, Lynda Canel; AIC European Painting and Sculpture Committee member Scott Canel; and Sotheby’s Senior Vice President and Director, Old Masters Paintings, Christopher Apostle.


Event co-­chairs, Gary Metzner and Virginia Bobins, addressing the guests before dinner.


Linda Glick with her son and daughter-­in-­law Jonathan and Elisabeth Glick.


Standing: Doug Cameron, OMS Board Member Jill Almeida, and Vincent Buonanno.
Seated: Mary Conrad, Richard Almeida, OMS Board Member Linda Buonanno, Lenore Cameron, OMS Board Member Robert Conrad, and Susan Bowey.


AIC Chair of European Painting and Sculpture and David and Mary Winton Green curator, Gloria Groom between event co-­chairs and OMS Board Members, Virginia Bobins and Gary Metzner.


Photo credit: Jeff Ellis Photography