The 2023 Whitney Gala and Studio Party, NYC

JAUNE QUICK-TO-SEE SMITH, NANCY POSES, AND THOMAS E. TUFT CELEBRATE THE 2023 WHITNEY GALA AND STUDIO PARTY

Joined by Rowan Blanchard, Antwaun Sargent, Blake Abbie

Whitney Gala guests enjoying a performance by five-time Grammy Award winner CeeLo Green.
Photos by Sansho Scott/BFA.com

New York, NY, May 17, 2023 — On May 16th, the Whitney Museum of American Art hosted the 2023 Whitney Gala and Studio Party, which honored groundbreaking artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, philanthropist and Vice Chair of the Whitney Board Nancy Poses, and Whitney Trustee for over two decades, Thomas E. Tuft. Proceeds from the Whitney Gala and the Studio Party support the Museum’s mission of presenting groundbreaking exhibitions and award-winning education programs, all while advancing the careers of some of the most innovative artists of our time.

From left to right: Fred Poses, Adam D. Weinberg, Nancy Poses, Thomas E. Tuft, Laura Phipps, Lowery Stokes Sims, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Leslie King Hammond, and Neal Ambrose-Smith. Photos by Sansho Scott/BFA.com.

The Whitney Gala, and its accompanying after-party, Studio Party, are celebrated cornerstones of New York’s arts and philanthropy calendar. The Gala kicked off at 7 pm with cocktails, followed by a seated dinner by Olivier Cheng, on the Museum’s sixth floor. After dinner, guests headed downstairs to the lobby and joined the Studio Party hosted by Rowan Blanchard, Erica and Michael Karsch, Alton Mason, Carlos Nazario, Jake Poses and David Aron, Max Poses, and Jennifer Tuft and Jay Brooker. Studio Party, which ran from 9 pm to 12:30 am, featured a DJ set by The Dare for an evening of cocktails, music, and exhibition viewing. Colorful and festive decor for the evening was designed by David Stark Design. The Whitney Studio Party was made possible by Maestro Dobel® Tequila, creators of the world’s first Cristalino, which guests enjoyed in a selection of smooth cocktails throughout the evening.

From left to right: Nina Tiari, Pam Nasr, Rowan Blanchard, Taofeek Abijako. Photos by Darian DiCianno/BFA.com

NOTABLE GUESTS: Whitney Gala honorees Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Nancy Poses, and Thomas E. Tuft; Artists Moreshin Allahyari, Diedrick Brackens, Andrea Carlson, Chitra Ganesh, Jeffrey Gibson, Josh Kline, Glenn Ligon, Dindga McCannon, Julie Mehretu, Lorraine O’Grady, Kambui Olujimi, Ilana Savdie, Marie Watt, D’Angelo Williams; Actors Blake Abbie, Rowan Blanchard, Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann; Writers Antwaun Sargent, Marjon Carlos; Comedian Mike Birbiglia; Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for New York City Laurie Cumbo; Influencers Remi Bader, Deon Hinton, Christie Tyler, Molly Blutstein, Kit Keenan, Amy Lefevre, Ella Rose McFadin, Lucy McFadin; Fiffany Luu, Beverly Nguyen; Designers Taofeek Abijako, Elena Velez; Stylist Becky Akinyode; Filmmakers Bella Newman, Pam Nasr; Whitney Museum trustees Judy Hart Angelo, Paul Arnhold, Leslie Bluhm, Neil G. Bluhm, David Cancel, David Carey, Nancy Carrington Crown, Richard M. DeMartini, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Fairfax N. Dorn, Lise Evans, Katja Goldman, Susan K. Hess, Robert J. Hurst, Gaurav K. Kapadia, Michael E. Kassan, Neal Katyal, Claudia Laviada, Miyoung Lee, Eric L. Motley, Brooke Garber Neidich, Julie Ostrover, John Phelan, Scott Resnick, Robert Rosenkranz, Jen Rubio, Anne-Cecilie Engell Speyer, Laurie M. Tisch, and David W. Zalaznick; Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art Adam D. Weinberg; Gala Co-Chair and Board President Fern Kaye Tessler; and Whitney Museum curators Scott Rothkopf, Jane Panetta, Adrienne Edwards, Barbara Haskell, Kim Conaty, Marcela Guerrero, Rujeko Hockley, Christiane Paul, Jennie Goldstein, Laura Phipps, and Elisabeth Sussman; Former Whitney Museum curators: David Breslin, Chris Lew, and Donna De Salvo.

From Left to Right: Antwaun Sargent, David Graver, Torque Niemi, Fiffany Luu, Sasha Frolova, Erin Mommsen, Alexander Roth, Deon Hinton. Photos by Darian DiCianno/BFA.com.

Gala guests dined on a special three-course menu. Gala Co-Chair and Board President Fern Kaye Tessler welcomed guests as they sat down for dinner. During dinner, Whitney Museum Director Adam D. Weinberg gave a tribute to Honoree Nancy Poses, followed by remarks from Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s chief curator and incoming director. Bob Hurst, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board, paid tribute to Honoree Thomas E. Tuft. Guests then enjoyed a tribute to Honoree Jaune Quick-to-See Smith from art historian Lowery Stokes Sims. After dinner and dessert were cleared, guests were treated to a live performance from five-time Grammy Award winner CeeLo Green.

The Dare performing at the Whitney Studio Party. Photos by Darian DiCianno/BFA.com

Throughout the evening Whitney Gala and Studio Party guests were given the opportunity to view the Museum’s current exhibitions Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map and Josh Kline: Project for a New American Century.

From left to right: Fred Poses, Adam D. Weinberg, Nancy Poses, Thomas E. Tuft, Laura Phipps, Lowery Stokes Sims, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Leslie King Hammond, and Neal Ambrose-Smith. Photos by Sansho Scott/BFA.com.

A citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, honoree Jaune Quick-to-See Smith has charted an exceptional and unorthodox career as an internationally revered artist, activist, curator, educator, and advocate. By creating drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures, Smith tells stories that flip commonly held conceptions of historical narratives and illuminate absurdities in the formation of dominant culture. Memory Map, on view through August 13, celebrates fifty years of work and is the largest and most comprehensive showcase of Smith’s career to date. Including more than 130 works, the exhibition offers a new framework to consider contemporary Native American art.

Catering by Olivier Cheng, Tequila by Maestro Dobel® Tequila, and decorations by David Stark Design. Photos by Sansho Scott/BFA.com

Honorees Nancy Poses and Thomas E. Tuft have played integral roles in the development of the Whitney over many years including its move downtown in 2015. Nancy Poses has dedicated her life to education and the arts. Poses became a Trustee of the Museum in 2013 and is currently Vice Chair of the Whitney Board. She is a champion of the Museum’s permanent collection, a great friend to its curators, and an advocate for artists. Thomas E. Tuft has held several leadership positions on Whitney’s board, including serving as a Co-Chairman of the Board (2017–20) and Chair of the Investment Committee. Tuft has been instrumental in attracting spirited and engaged Trustees to the Museum, and in the Museum’s financial and strategic planning.

From Left to Right: Soledad Hurst, Scott Rothkopf, CeeLo Green. Photos by Sansho Scott/BFA.com.

Proceeds from the Whitney Gala and the Studio Party supported the Museum’s mission of presenting groundbreaking exhibitions and award-winning education programs, all while advancing the careers of some of the most innovative artists of our time.

GALA HONOREES

Nancy Poses

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Thomas E. Tuft

HONORARY CO-CHAIRS

Judy and Leonard Lauder

DINNER COMMITTEE

Paul Arnhold, Nancy Carrington Crown, Katja Goldman, Susan K. Hess, Brooke Garber Neidich, Julie Ostrover, Anne-Cecilie Engell Speyer, Fern Kaye Tessler, Diane Tuft

STUDIO PARTY CO-CHAIRS

Rowan Blanchard

Erica and Michael Karsch

Alton Mason

Carlos Nazario

Jake Poses and David Aron

Max Poses

Jennifer Tuft and Jay Brooker

STUDIO PARTY BENEFIT COMMITTEE

Blake Abbie, Julia Arnhold and Lane Gerson, Paul Arnhold and Wes Gordon, Diedrick Brackens, James H. Brooke, Marjon Carlos, Adam Fields, Chitra Ganesh, Christina Grasso, Alexander Hankin, Deon Hinton, Jordan Huelskamp, Drew Jessup, Destiny Joseph, Stephanie Ketty, Molly Krause, Eny Lee Parker, Amy LeFevre, Lucy McFadin, Tyler Mitchell, Kambui Olujimi, Alexander Roth, Moses Sumney, Mike Tommasiello, Christie Tyler, D’Angelo Lovell Williams

Whitney Studio Party Sponsored By

ABOUT THE WHITNEY

The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942), houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Mrs. Whitney, an early and ardent supporter of modern American art, nurtured groundbreaking artists when audiences were still largely preoccupied with the Old Masters. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for ninety years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.

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The press release and the photographs are courtesy of the gallery and the artists.

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