Guild Hall Summer Gala Honoring Robert Longo


Christina Strassfield, Robert Longo, Barbara Lane, Andrea Grover – PMc Sean Zanni for Getty Images

The weather could not have been more perfect on Friday, August 6 as the sun set over East Hampton. Four-hundred dinner guests settled in for an evening celebrating 90 years of Guild Hall and honoree, artist Robert Longo. The event began with a preview of Longo’s new exhibition A History of the Present at Guild Hall, then moved to a nearby estate for cocktails on the water and dinner under an open-air tent. The event raised over $800,000 in support of Guild Hall’s year-round interdisciplinary programs.

“A preview of Robert Longo’s powerful exhibition began the evening with a meaningful reflection on the last year, the natural world, and the creative community in which we live. Cocktails and dinner followed at a nearby private residence with one an ethereal and breathtaking view— downy acres of grass overlooking the bay at sunset. The dinner, with black and red décor, was picture perfect and celebrated the artist Robert Longo in style.” shared Guild Hall Executive Director Andrea Grover.

The black and red décor was inspired by Robert Longo, guided by Guild Hall Trustee and gala chair Barbara Lane, and designed and produced by Anthony Taccetta Events. Guests were encouraged to wear black and white and red-all-over, and a lucky few, including Robert Longo, Andrea Grover, Michele and Marty Cohen, Cindy Sherman, Kim Heirston, Christina Isaly Liceaga, Kristin Eberstadt, and Hilaria Baldwin, donned stunning jewelry and watches from gala sponsor, Bulgari.

Safety was a top priority, and all partygoers were required to show proof of full vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test to attend. Notable guests included Robert Longo and Sophie Chahinian, Hilaria and Alec Baldwin, Rashid Johnson and Sheree Hovsepian, Cindy Sherman and Jack Hanley, Bill T. Jones and Bjorn Amelan, Alexis Rockman, Ugo Rondinone, Peter Marino, Nicole Salmasi, Marc Glimcher and Fairfax Dorn, Alice Aycock, Edwina von Gal, Clifford Ross and Nicolette Donen, Yung Jake, Ralph Gibson and Mary Jane Marcasiano, G.E. Smith and Taylor Barton, Audrey and Martin Gruss, and Alina Cho.

Attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvre by Laurence Craig Catering, including jumbo lump crab, seared tuna loin, lobster tacos, fava beans on burrata with olive oil “caviar”, retro beef hot dogs, pan seared beef filet, truffle mac & cheese bites, and herb chevre on jicama while sipping on cocktails and Bedell “First Crush” wines. The seated dinner featured a fresh, summery menu starting with red beet carpaccio with black radish, pomegranate vinaigrette, goat cheese flan, and Bull’s Blood lettuce, followed by grilled wild bass with artichoke, fennel, summer vegetables, salsa verde, farro & black rice pilaf.

A dazzling dessert included a dark chocolate gratin with whipped cream, berries, caramel, and marble chocolate bark at the tables plus mini banana pies, Milky Way wontons, and sorbet “lipstick” passed among the guests as they made their way to the GUILD HALL 90-branded dance floor to groove to tunes spun by MICK. The celebration continued into the night and ended at exactly 11PM to the theme song to Cheers as the final dancers said their goodbyes. The overall sentiment overheard was “best night ever.”