The $6,000,000 Gala.

               Yes, That’s Six Million Dollars!


The stunning atrium of Museum of Contemporary Art  was the scene of a cocktail reception that began the evening.  Names of artists esteemed by supporters of the MCA were printed in red on the shiny white floor.





By Megan McKinney


The latest twist in galas is the live and silent auction of donated treasures. Actually the-auction-as-benefit has been around for a long time—the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago originated this one in 1968. But, to raise $6 million in one sitting–that’s new!

Here’s how to go about it. First choose co-chairs and “friends” wisely.

Philanthropist Cari B.Sacks, above with her equally generous husband, Michael, was co-chair of the MCA’s 2019 Benefit Art Auction. That was a great start.

But, then, she was teamed with Kenneth C. Griffin, right, whose well-known openhandedness with art museums extends to his 2007 gift of the $19 million Renzo Piano addition to the Art Institute of Chicago.

The painting that went for $1,150,000, doing much to catapult the evening’s take so far over the top, was Richard Prince’s 2018 “Untitled,” shown above behind Griffin and global superstar dealer Larry Gagosian, who with the artist donated the winning work. A “friend’ indeed.

Another of the evening’s star players was Senior Director and Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe Oliver Barker, below with Ken Griffin and MCA Director Madeleine Grynsztejn.

Here is Oliver Barker in action:

It helps one understand how the sale of a mere 14 works of art added up to the staggering total, the bulk of which was raised during the ticking of a clock’s minute hand.

Time now to study the range of art lovers who populated the vibrant evening.

Ellen-Blair Chube and Matthew Yates.

Madeleine Grynsztejn and Penny Pritzker.

Gary Metzner and Sarah Albrecht.

Emma Ejutemieden.

Imanuel Aquilar and Alex Chitty.

Melissa and Colin Lord.

Sunih and Shabium Sanghvi.

Jana Hees.

Anne Kaplan and Dia Weil.

Michelle Holland.

Eric and Liz Lefkofsky.

Rebekah Shalit.

Rene Alphonnse and Nicola Idehen.

Nick Cave and Desiree Rogers.

Naomi Beckwith.

Brenda Jacobsen.

Brendan Fernandes.

Lisa Sweitzer and Denise Dayan.

Stephen Keith, Phyllis Lockett, Helene Gayle, Terry Petterson.

Claire O’Grady, Pamela and Marquis Miller, Michael O’Grady.

Nickol and Darrel Hacket.

Michael Darling and Ellen-Blair Chuba.

Lindsey Alex and Stuart Dyer.

Photo Credit:

Braxton Black

Marcello Rodarte

Brittany Sowacke