The County Museum of Art managed two splashy, artsy parties two nights running this week--closing down the "Treasures of the Holy Land" Tuesday night, opening the "Russia, the Land, the People" exhibit Wednesday. Although the legendary Dr. Armand Hammer made it only on Wednesday night (he has been slowed down slightly by some broken ribs), lots of art mavens made it on both go-rounds.
Tuesday, Iris and Bernie Cantor, Fred and Joan Nicholas (he'll be spearheading the building of the Disney addition to the Music Center, much as he did on the construction of MOCA), Diane and Gil Glazer, Mayor Tom Bradley, Max Palevsky and his new bride Jodie Evans (in a strapless black dress), Norman Lear and Lyn Davis, Mary Carol and Mickey Rudin, Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sykes (ditto on the strapless), and dozens of others gathered for alfresco dining under the stars in the central court. Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek was introduced by Lear, who warned that the mayor's name might be misleading--"He's not a soft and cuddly kind of guy--huggable, yes."
Kollek said the Jerusalem Museum and the LACMA had started at the same time--but that the problems his museum faced were different, especially in showing the various European and Arab groups that "their cultures are taken seriously . . . they feel more at home than they did before."
Chatty Cocktail Hour
Only the cocktail hour was spent outside Wednesday night as the crowd ebbed and flowed, people taking their time seeing the exhibit of Russian painting from the 19th Century. Mia and Dan Frost were back for the second night in a row, as were Daniel and Daisy Belin, and happily circulating in the crowd were former Gov. Edmund G. (Pat) and Bernice Brown (he's finishing up a book on capital punishment) chatting with Betty and Roy Anderson.
Brown insisted that he wanted to "recall the Duke (Gov. George Deukmejian) for the $80 rebate from the state," which Brown insisted should have gone instead to help struggling public schools.
Also chatting it up were Occi dental's Rosemary Tomich and Paul and Dorothy Hebner, party-going champs Marvin and Barbara Davis chatting with Nancy Powell, Councilman Joel Wachs (with Susan Silver) and Councilman John Ferraro (Wachs was nice enough to explain to Ferraro which schools were in his district, which, of course, used to be Wachs' district), Jimmy and Gloria Stewart, Sybil Brand and Cesar Romero, Harold and Diane Keith (she was wearing a strapless batik with a large piece of pre-Columbian sculpture hanging from her neck) and Geri and Dick Brawerman.
Seated for dinner in the museum, the black-tie crowd listened attentively as museum director Rusty Powell and Board of Trustees President Belin praised what Belin called "an ambassador of peace, an ambassador of culture, Dr. Hammer."
Predicts Summit This Year
Hammer, who has a habit of doing the unexpected, then told the crowd that he was sure another summit would take place this year, and, just as cultural exchanges had been negotiated in previous meetings, this summit "will be the most important of all."
Art, Hammer said, is an emissary of peace. He was followed by V. I. Kazenin, the Soviet deputy minister of culture, who said through a translator that the exchange of art is "more than satisfying the needs of a handful of art lovers," that it instead promotes understanding between the two countries. He stressed that the greatest goal was to "avoid nuclear catastrophe. . . . It's very important to learn more about each other--our cultural roots and values."