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A Grand Gala for Antiques Aficionados

RSVP / THE SOCIAL CITY

March 16, 1997|MARY LOU LOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Antiques are being vetted and polished for the Los Angeles Antiques Show gala May 14. Last year's party was a wild success, with an attendance of 1,500 and more than $600,000 raised for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Women's Guild members Beverly Firestein and Susan W. Robertson are chairwomen. Honorary chairs are Anne and Kirk Douglas, and Veronique and Gregory Peck. The international show, organized by the Antique Dealers Assn. of California, will be open to the public May 15-18 at the Barker Hangar, Santa Monica Airport.

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Unique: The elegance of the Los Angeles Public Library proves that a library can not only be a wonderful place to read, but also a super location for a party. Last week the Los Angeles Public Library Foundation Awards dinner, the first major fund-raiser for the library's 125th anniversary, brought $500 donors to the intimate Mark Taper Auditorium for introductions of 1997 honorees. Earlier, the crowd had cocktails in the J. Paul Getty Trust Room. Later they moved on to nooks and crannies on four levels for a dinner catered by Good Gracious. Whether looking down, or looking up, every table seemed an "A."

Honorees received Tiffany & Co.-crafted crystal sculptures. The Los Angeles Philanthropy Award was presented by Kenneth Dickerson, Arco vice president, to Frank J. Biondi Jr., chairman and CEO of Universal Studios Inc. The Light of Learning Award was presented by Robert F. Erburu, Times Mirror chairman emeritus, to Harold M. Williams, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust; and the Literary Award was presented by Lucy McCoy, president of the Board of Library Commissioners, to Louise Erdrich, author of award-winning novels including "Love Medicine" and "Tales of Burning Love" (her newest).

Williams recalled that as a boy, the Benjamin Franklin branch library in East Los Angeles was "my home away from home." He added, "If the school can spark the interest and the curiosity, then the library will generate the flame."

In the "it's a small world" category, Andrea Van de Kamp, first woman dean of admissions at Dartmouth, introduced herself to Erdrich, a member of Dartmouth's first class to include women. Big hugs.

City Librarian Susan Kent and foundation Chairman R. Thomas Decker said funds raised will be used for technology in 67 library branches.

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Big Dollars: Where there are Thomases, there is Midas. Marlo, Tony and Terre Thomas, children of the late Danny Thomas, and his widow, Rose Marie, did it again. Their 35th anniversary gala for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at the Beverly Hilton was attended by 900 and grossed $1 million. And that was in addition to the Target House gift of $3.25 million, announced by Target's executive vice president of marketing, John Pellegrene; and the $500,000 gift to cover Target House operations, announced by Bob Ulrich, chairman and CEO of Dayton Hudson Corp. Target House will accommodate families of hospitalized children.

Performer Ray Charles got standing applause.

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Impact: When the Museum of Contemporary Art's Projects Council bestows its Distinguished Woman in the Arts Award, it looks for "someone who has made an impact on the art world." Recently, members named Tina Brown, editor of the New Yorker, the first woman to lead the publication in its 70-year history.

Brown chatted with her luncheon partners--actor Steve Martin and the museum's chairman, David Laventhol--at the Beverly Wilshire affair. When Brown accepted, after Dominick Dunne's laudatory introduction, she said the New Yorker "was a men's club when I came aboard in 1992. Men tell you what happens; women tell you what really happens." So, she said, she replaced many male editors with women.

Barbara Cirkva, Chanel's U.S. senior vice president, flew from New York to view the Chanel fashion show. More in the crowd--Jan Colburn, Ellie Goldman (president of the council), Mandy Einstein, Fran Graysen, Richard (museum director) and Betty Koshalek, Laura-Lee Wood, Bea Gersh (former honoree) and Audrey Irmas (MOCA president). Phyllis Hennigan, Judith Krantz, Joni Smith, Geri Brawerman and Lenny Goldberg all wore Chanel.

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Red Letter Dates: Linda LoRe, president and CEO of Giorgio Beverly Hills, will receive the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising's Award for excellence at the institute's fashion show and scholarship benefit dinner Friday at the Westin Bonaventure. Johnny Grant will emcee the live showing of Oscar-nominated film fashions from "The English Patient" and "Evita."

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