Spring Garden Party 2014

Photographs by Christine A. Butler

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On May 28, nearly 500 guests attended the Frick’s Spring Garden Party, Sprezzatura: A Celebration of Italian Renaissance Poetry and Style. This year's celebration took its inspiration from the famed enigmatic portrait by Parmigianino, Schiava Turca, on loan to the collection through July 20. This painting of a sumptuously costumed, elegant noblewoman, who was perhaps a poet, epitomizes the “nonchalant grace” (or sprezzatura) of Renaissance courtly behavior and fashionable style.

As the evening began, guests headed outside to the beautiful and rarely open Fifth Avenue Garden, which was landscaped to resemble gardens of the Italian Renaissance. They sipped cocktails and Blue Quail Wine from McFadden Vineyard accompanied by a tempting variety of seasonally inspired hors d’oeuvres and the music of noted jazz quartet The Flail. Many were dressed in bold colors that echoed the brilliant hues of the raw Indian silk fabrics that accented the flowering plants and dramatic floral arrangements placed throughout the event spaces. As the sun set on Central Park, party goers moved inside to the 1935 Music Room, which provided the perfect setting for society band The Bob Hardwick Sound, who kept guests of all ages on the dance floor until the party’s end. Those not inclined to dance were able to take advantage of the open museum’s permanent collection and special exhibition galleries, which remained open throughout the evening.