Dina and Bill Oldknow's home in San Marino was the setting for two celebrations honoring Helen Philon, curator of the Benaki Museum in Athens. She was in the Southland to announce the 1989 tour of the Hellenistic arts collection of Greece's Benaki Museum. It will be the first time that the Benaki's unique collection (from the 6th Century BC to the 1800s) exploring the interrelationship of Hellenism, Islam and China has been seen outside Greece.
At the luncheon, the curator spoke to museum cognoscenti including Mary Skouras, Ethelda Singer, Jackie Theis, Margaret Spillane, Claudia Mirkin, Ann Johnson, Nancy Livingston, Dona Kendall and Maggy Murray. Over dinner, which had Dina Oldknow's careful imprimatur, the coterie included Honorary Consul Andreas Kyprianides, Patti and Tommy Skouras, Kennedy and Bobbie Galpin, Fred and Marjorie Lyte, Tom and Louise Jones, Frank and Tizzie (Oldknow) Huttinger, and Peter and Tina (Oldknow) Herzberg.
The collection will be exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of a 12-city U.S. tour.
UPSCALE: Athalie Clarke tells us to mark the calendar for the Oaks Classic on June 5 in San Juan Capistrano. Prize money will total $75,000, but the biggie is the $50,000 Oaks Gran Prix. Last year's was marvelous.
MAJOR MOVERS: With the Doheny Eye Institute's $30-million Tower Campaign (for research) under way, the Luminaires and the Luminaires Juniors decided to juxtapose their March benefits and blast Los Angeles with two rousing events. On March 7 in the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton, the Luminaires will host their third Spring Visions luncheon, with I. Magnin producing and underwriting Geoffrey Beene's spring-summer collections. Longtime member Alice Avery is honorary chairman, and Cynthia Yost, for weeks, has been coordinating with Jack Miles and Brett McDaneld of I. Magnin, planning details with president Tamra Dickerson, Sharon Black, Janice Boswell, Gloria Renwick, Nancy Payne, Carolyn Fox, Lois Erburu and Helen Pegram.
Then, on March 12, the Luminaires Juniors conjure up "Fantasy at Sea: An Evening of Tropical Madness" at the Filmland Center in Culver City. It's a black-tie dinner dance, but racy. Benefit co-chairs Barbara Fisher and Cynthia Hall have booked reggae by Sunshine and rock 'n' roll by Tom Thumb and the Hitchhikers. Floral designer Collins Hansen will create magic with exotic South Seas blossoms. Working overtime with president Candida Genzmer are Juniors Mary Milner, Judy Hewson, Patty Kouba, Nani Bush, Deborah Barry, Lucy Hromadka, Leigh Davis and Cindy Laverty.
MIDAS TOUCH: The gold is already gleaming for the 50th anniversary black-tie gala honoring the Palm Springs Desert Museum. The Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage will host the March 11 event, also the opening party for the new hotel. The party's sold out, even with tickets priced at $1,000 each. Former Ambassador to Great Britain Walter Annenberg and Lee Annenberg are honorary chairmen. Pat Heller heads 50th anniversary events, and Sharon Lynch and Lois Stone (wife of trustees president J. Ralph Stone) are co-chairmen. Also involved are committee president Erna Schulhofer and director Morton J. Golden.
EAST-WEST: Former Atty. Gen. William French Smith and his wife, Jean, have been going in lots of directions. Recently he headed the President's official delegation to Taiwan for the funeral of Taiwan's President Chiang Ching-kuo (eldest son of Chiang Kai-shek), accompanied by Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.) and Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyo.). In a few days, the Smiths will be off to Washington to attend Buffy and Bill Cafritz's big black-tie affair at the Ritz-Carlton honoring Mary Jane and Charles Wick, director of the U.S. Information Agency. On the same jaunt, the Smiths are also booked for the birthday soiree Sondra Gotlieb will host for her husband, Allan, Canadian ambassador to the United States.
TEA: Adrienne Hall hosts a tea in her Beverly Hills home Wednesday for founding members of the YWCA Los Angeles President's Circle. Caroline Ahmanson and Judith Harris Murphy are co-chairs of the group.
HAVEN: The Junior League of Los Angeles transforms the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium into a shopper's haven Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for its rummage sale. Admission is free. Look for a signed canceled check from Judy Garland plus antiques, designer clothes, sporting goods, etc., chairman Carolyn Taff said. Assisting her are Martha Washburn, Sarah Smith, Marcia Hansen, Mindy Byers, Sandra Carlson-Cabezas, Stephanie Ogden, Jane Miller and Connie Harris.