The party was supposed to be smallish. Instead, the crowd was bumper to bumper, elbow to elbow, nose to nose the other evening at Hanson Galleries in Beverly Hills, with 300 trying to get a close-up of Peter Max's charm at his "Ladies of the '80s" art opening--not to mention his neo-Fauvist paintings.
In scarf and tennies, and considerably more casual than the crowd, Michael J. Pollard sauntered up to the honoree (Max in tuxedo without black-tie): "Wasn't it Woodstock when last we met?"
Collectors Arte Johnson and Arnold and Maria Schwarzenegger were in the crowd. So were Jane Seymour, attorney Susan Grode, major collector Arnold Ashkenazy, Aaron Zigman (producer of the Jets' "Crush on You" and Max's keyboard instructor) and his date Lydia Finzi, Jack Carter, "Head of the Class's" Christine Haje, curator Joan Quinn and Richard Guttman.
While gallery owner Scott Hanson and his wife Judi (expecting) and his partner, attorney Richard Chasen, introduced Max non-stop on one side, Max's right-hand assistant Mimi Gelb took the other side, and Peter Max's head twitched back and forth. Except for those who arrived very early (and caught the chatter of gallery salespersons going through their lines), it was nearly impossible to wend to the back to see "Nude Fan Dancer," "Les Mondrian Ladies" and Max's newest love--computer art, which Sony had rigged up--but the show runs through Feb. 5.
Then, Tuesday evening, the gallery again was the setting for festivities, this time honoring James Stewart for his selection as the Lifetime Award honoree. The award will be presented Feb. 21 at the Monterey Film Festival in Carmel where Hanson also has a gallery. Three of Stewart's leading ladies--Doris Day ("The Man Who Knew Too Much"), Joan Fontaine "You Gotta Stay Happy") and Kim Novak ("Vertigo")--will be present when Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood presents the award to Stewart.
Incidentally, when Gloria and James Stewart were in Washington for President Reagan's state dinner for Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, they received a permanent house guest from Liz Whitney, a long-time friend. It's a 3-month-old foxhound, Harvey. According to Gloria, Harvey gets along with Baron, their golden retriever, but, Mara, the older retriever, will have none of him.
GRAND TRADITION: "Un Bal Masque" with hidden glances and swirling dancers is the style set by Penny Bianchi and Renee Hanson when they chair the Pasadena Symphony's exclusive Diamond Jubilee Gala to celebrate the symphony's 60th anniversary season Friday at the Biltmore.
Those swirlers will swirl to the music of Michael Carney's Orchestra. (He played for the 1984 Presidential Inaugural party.) The Crystal Ballroom will be lavish with feathers, flowers and glittery accents in the grande mood, but more about that later. On Saturday, music director Jorge Mester will lead the Pasadena Symphony in the centerpiece of its 60th anniversary season, Berlioz's choral symphony "Romeo et Juliette" at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
PRESENTEES: From Joann McGarty and Marcela Hutson, we hear it was a spectacular mother-daughter tea that the Social Service Auxiliary hosted at the California Club to introduce the young women who will be introduced to Archbishop Roger M. Mahony on June 6 at the Presentation Ball.
Chairman Suzette Keefer and assistant Diane Mullin put president Betty Weiner, presentee chairman Mary Lou Workman and her assistant Liz LeFevre and ball chairman Anne Porteous at the head of the reception line. A few days later the presentees and their fathers attended a luncheon and tour (planned by Betty Morgan and Kay McCulloch) of Stella Maris Community Center.
PAST PERFECT: They'll be trying to raise more than $100,000 and bring their total to $600,000 on the annual Center Stage extravaganza. That's why everyone was upbeat and happy at Linda Patton's kick-off party for this year's event. Themed "Bravissimo," it's set for March 5 at the Westin Bonaventure. Center Stage chairman Diane Scott was in the spotlight, but so were assistant major-domos--Ann Weir, Darrell Banta and Diane Robertson. Nordstrom does the fashion show. . . .
Dale C. Olson wasn't at his office Tuesday. He was at home on Outpost Drive in the Hollywood Hills cooking up chicken breasts, fettucini Alfredo and Mexican salad for 80 with Jo deWinter. They and a group of Sally Kirkland's acting friends (Robert De Niro, Robert Blake, Tony and Rita Franciosa, Ed Begley Jr., Doris Roberts) were honoring her for her outstanding performance in "Anna". . . .
USC Golden Circle members and life members of the President's Circle met for dinner to honor Robert Erburu, chairman and CEO of Times Mirror. . . .
The newly formed Women for Jeffrey held their first function. They met at the Jeffrey Foundation for tours of the group homes for the handicapped and tea . . .
Alan H. FitzGerald, managing director of the Watergate in Washington, hosted cocktails this week at the Westwood Marquis Hotel and Gardens. . . .