By Theresa Ahearn Posted March 19, 2012, 11:24 AM EDT
In a nod to its forthcoming exhibit on bioluminescent organisms, the American Museum of Natural History flooded its Upper West Side home with bright lighting and glowing decor for the Museum Dance, the institution's long-running junior benefit. The fund-raiser, which took place on Thursday, March 8, brought hundreds of young patrons to a seated dinner in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, followed by dancing in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.
With the overarching theme of “bright young things” and a dress code of festive black tie, the organizers looked to fill the various spaces with luminous, shimmering elements from Levy Lighting and Floralia Decorators. Custom gobos projected the word glow onto the exterior of the museum, while a disco ball reflected bright spots of light inside the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda for the reception. The cocktail hour also included LEDs illuminating the walls and the display of dinosaur skeletons in blue, purple, and pink hues, as well as square glass vases filled with green-colored LED wires and clear and frosted spheres that served as tabletop accents.
The dynamic lighting continued into the dinner space. A water-like lighting pattern decorated the ceiling and Floralia alternated between different centerpiece designs, some consisting of mini spheres illuminated by blue LED lights and white phalaenopses in slanted glass stemmed bowls, and others that incorporated glass cylinders of assorted sizes wrapped with blue LED string lights.
After dinner, which included dishes like a roasted cherry tomato and fennel tart and coq au vin with wild forest mushrooms, fresh peas, applewood bacon, and spaetzle from Restaurant Associates, guests filled the after-party dance area. DJ Jus Ske spun tunes and fluorescent colors glowed under black lights.
The event was sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue, which, through the month of February, donated 5 percent of all purchases made with the Saks credit card to the museum.