Brooklyn Museum¹s Fifth Annual Brooklyn Artists Ball Honors Exiting Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman and Artists Kiki Smith, Takashi Murakami, and Jean-Michel Basquiat

  • BROOKLYN, New York
  • /
  • March 25, 2015

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Still from A Conversation with Basquiat, 2006. 23 min., 22 sec. © Tamra Davis. Courtesy of the artist. By permission of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, all rights reserved.
Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum

On Wednesday, April 15th, the Brooklyn Museum will host the fifth annual Brooklyn Artists Ball, its annual fundraising gala celebrating Brooklyn’s creative community.

The Brooklyn Artists Ball will once again feature artist-created immersive table environments at which guests will dine. However, unlike years past which tapped a new crop of artists each time, the gala’s fifth incarnation welcomes back some previous Artists Ball participants — Jen Catron & Paul Outlaw, FAILE, Fernando Mastrangelo, OLEK, Duke Riley, Situ Studio, Swoon and Dustin Yellin — to create larger scale installations for the evening’s festivities.

Portrait, 2011, Kiki Smith Studio.

As part of the Gala program, the Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum, Arnold L. Lehman — retiring from his position in June 2015 — will be presented with the Augustus Graham Medal in recognition of his visionary leadership and transformation of the Museum and his unwavering support of Brooklyn’s art community.

In addition, acclaimed contemporary artists Kiki Smith, Takashi Murakami and Jean-Michel Basquiat will be honored with the Asher B. Durand Award — named for the artist who donated the first work of contemporary art to Museum’s collection  All three honorees have had major exhibitions at the Museum during Lehman’s tenure.

Opening the same evening will be a special exhibition entitled Diverse Works: Director’s Choice 1997 – 2015, which brings together more than 125 exceptional works of art collected during Lehman’s 18-year tenure. Organized by the Brooklyn Museum’s curators, the exhibition highlights the wide - ranging vision of the Institution’s retiring leader and underscores the Museum’s commitment to diversity in collection building. 

The evening will begin on April 1th at 6: 30p.m. in the Museum’s lobby for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before shifting to the Beaux - Arts Court for a seated dinner. Afterwards, guests will move to the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Glass Pavilion for the Dance Party to enjoy desserts created by FlourShop and performances by more Brooklyn-based artists to be announced.

The Brooklyn Artists Ball 2015 will once again include a benefit auction organized by Artspace, which will feature artworks by this year’s artists, event honorees, as well as select past Artists Ball participants.

Tickets to the Brooklyn Artists Ball start at $1,000; tables of eight begin at $10,000 and, for the first time in the event’s history, will include tables priced at $100,000, which will include a private dinner with Arnold Lehman. Tickets to the Dance Party are available for $100 ; $75 for Brooklyn Museum members. Proceeds from the event will support the Museum’s extensive collection and further bolster the Museum’s dedication to enhancing the visitor experience, as well as its commitment to excellence i n education and services to the community. For more information about the event or auction, or to purchase tickets, visit /bkartstsball, email,or call (718) 501 - 6589.

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