61st Annual Vizcaya Ball

Vizcaya Ball 2017 Committee Top row: Nicole Lozano, Roxana George, Alexa Wolman, Carly Patterson, Isabel Fine; Bottom row: James Murphy, Linda Levy Goldberg, Silvia Trinidad, Sonia Gibson, Cathy Jones, Pearl Baker Katz, Gladys Rustan-Hernando, Victor Diaz

Miami’s iconic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens celebrated its centennial year at the 61st Annual Vizcaya Ball, themed A Night of a Thousand Stars. Proceeds support the preservation of Vizcaya, a National Historic Landmark.

Guests walked down the historic Cascade entrance and were greeted by cocktails as they entered the Gilded Age estate. The evening continued with entertainment and an elegant dinner with catering by Le Basque. Guests danced the night away to the sounds of Soul Survivors. The festivities concluded with a spectacular fireworks display on Biscayne Bay, high above the historic stone barge.

Vizcaya’s centennial year was marked by several momentous achievements shared with guests. Three new books were published featuring artist Robert Winthrop Chanler (who designed Vizcaya’s Swimming Pool Grotto), the memoirs of James Deering’s secretary (University of Chicago Press), and Vizcaya’s Contemporary Arts Program. Vizcaya received the American Institute of Conservation’s award for outstanding commitment to preservation—given to a single American museum or library each year. In September, the estate weathered the significant impact of Hurricane Irma and, with the support of many friends and more than 500 volunteers, great strides have been made to restore Vizcaya’s iconic beauty.

Vizcaya’s 2017 centennial is particularly noteworthy for two accomplishments that will shape the future of this National Historic Landmark. In July, the Miami-Dade Mayor and Board of County Commissioners approved plans for the restoration and reprogramming of the Vizcaya Village, opening a clear path for this long-anticipated project that will cement Vizcaya’s role as a cultural hub. The County also approved the restructuring of Vizcaya’s governance. As of October 1, Vizcaya is now managed by the non-profit Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Trust, Inc., in partnership with the County, and with the goals of enhancing preservation, educational programming and private fundraising.

Pearl Baker Katz chaired the Vizcaya Ball. Committee members include Lesli Ann Brown, Anthony Bryson, Victor Diaz, Swanee DiMare, Isabel Fine, Roxana Garciga, Sonia Gibson, Linda Levy Goldberg, Gladys Rustan-Hernando, Cathy L. Jones, Marile Lopez, Nicole Lozano, Marisa Toccin Lucas, Christina Martin, James W. Murphy, Carly Patterson, Staci J. Rutman, Tara Solomon, Silvia Trinidad, and Alexa Wolman. Among the guests were Mayor Carlos and Lourdes Gimenez, Florida State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez and his wife Sonia Succar Rodriguez, Dan and Trish Bell, Jon and Nancy Batchelor, Phillip and Patricia Frost, and David and Christy Martin.

Sponsors included Republic National Distribution Company, Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour, Robert Procop Exceptional Jewels, USA Bouquet, Bentley Miami, Wendy Newman Designs, Le Basque Catering and Design, Luxury Brand Partners, Oribe, Art Work by Lesli Ann Brown, bonnelly films, and Beaker and Gray.

Luxury silent auction items included a stunning blue topaz and diamond necklace designed by Robert Procop, European Celebrity Cruise, designer handbags and a cashmere cape trimmed in fox donated by The Fur Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour.

Save the date for Vizcaya’s 2018 Preservation Luncheon on March 13 and 62nd Annual Ball on November 18.

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