By Alesandra Dubin Posted October 6, 2008, 6:55 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES A sold-out crowd of 528 dinner guests took to the Hammer Museum's picturesque courtyard last night for the annual Gala in the Garden. This year, the fete brought in a record $1.2 million for the UCLA museum—an increase over last year's $1 million, and considerably more than the first event six years ago, which brought in $125,000. The museum's development director, Jennifer Wells Green, and manager of development events, David Morehouse, oversaw the program. Jennifer and Tobey Maguire and Lauren and Benedikt Taschen co-chaired.
Gucci was the sponsor and an influence on the design. “The color palette was very rich—oranges and ambers. It had that very rich, tactile, Gucci thing going on,” said the museum's acting director of communications, Sarah Stifler.
The Hammer honored architect Frank Gehry and photographer Catherine Opie. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel gave the tribute to Gehry, and Ben Stiller introduced Opie. The evening also featured an installation in the museum courtyard by artist Jennifer Steinkamp. Gala veteran chef Suzanne Goin of A.O.C. and Lucques supplied the menu, and Mitie Tucker produced.