By Alesandra Dubin Posted November 17, 2009, 12:54 PM EST
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles celebrated its 30th anniversary with a gala on November 14—and the benefit broke fund-raising records for the museum: The event for 1,000 guests—including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Jeff Koons—took in $4 million.
Following a performance piece starring Lady Gaga and dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet, the museum auctioned a Steinway & Sons piano customized in pink with blue butterfly motifs by Damien Hirst—and it alone fetched $450,000.
“Never before have so many people come from around the world to support an L.A. arts institution,” said MOCA founding chairman Eli Broad, who also served as gala co-chair, in a statement announcing the event's final tally.
MOCA board of trustees and gala co-chair Maria Arena Bell added, “Not only did we exceed our financial goal for MOCA, raising a staggering $4 million, but we also created a living and breathing artwork by Francesco Vezzoli. This gala affirms that in the past 30 years, MOCA has made its mark as one of the greatest contemporary art museums in the world, and this event has successfully begun a new history for MOCA.”
As we reported last week, an online auction related to the anniversary gala continues through November 30.