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Museum Has Dinner Under Stars—And Bones

November 25, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

American Museum of Natural History's Museum Ball American Museum of Natural History Thursday, 11.21.02, 7 PM to 11 PM
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The American Museum of Natural History's Museum Ball provided an original variation on dinner and dancing under the stars: Both took place in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, beneath the huge Hayden Sphere that houses the museum's planetarium. Although you couldn't actually see the planetarium's stars—they're projected inside the sphere's top half, by the largest virtual reality simulator in the world—sitting in the large, dramatic space created quite an effect. (And rightly so, considering the ball is one of the most anticipated events of the fall social season.)

Bill Tansey of Tansey Design Associates transformed the Cullman Hall of the Universe into a setting that resembled an autumnal Victorian garden. Crimson beaded tablecloths and simple clusters of white votive candles highlighted huge, stunning topiary centerpieces that incorporated blood-red Black Magic roses, Dutch hydrangeas, spray roses, celosias feathers and amaranths.

Restaurant Associates served more than 400 guests (who paid between $1,000 and $5,000 to attend the benefit). During the cocktail hour among the dinosaur bones in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, passed hors d'oeuvres included loin of lamb with rosemary mustard sauce and bouch?e of foie gras with apple chutney. For dinner, guests indulged in roasted Cornish game hen and sweet potatoes with truffles served in mini pumpkins.

After dinner, Diane Sawyer presided over the auction, overseeing bids for four different unique prizes. One example: joining the museum's paleontologists on a fossil-hunting expedition to Patagonia.

Erika Rasmusson

Read our coverage of the museum's baseball-themed winter dance...

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