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March 6, 2012 3:23 pm

An Evening in Paris – Via Persia (PHOTO)

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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Guests in attendance at the Jewish Museum gala. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Imagine the ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, miss-en-scène “painted” in patterns of pale light and shadow.  The room was alight with the soft shimmer of tall silver candlesticks embracing dozens of flickering flames, glittering with shiny groggers!  The February 29, 2012, event – Purim Soiree – was The Twenty Sixth annual Purim Ball of The Jewish Museum of New York. Incoming Chairman Robert Pruzan and recently appointed Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director Claudia Gould were formally welcomed. Hundreds hid (or, not) behind masks, some simple, some exuberant, replete with lace and baubles, feathers and fringe,  and enjoyed an evening of dinner and dancing.

The Tres Chic, black tie event brought together the cultural elite of New York’s Jewish community for a wonderful evening of minimum conversation and maximum pleasure. The brevity of the Keynote offered by Baron David de Rothschild, Honorary Chairman of the event, added to the charm of the evening, both in content and duration. The American born Baron added an aura of continental charm and elegance, reminiscent of the classic century. Banker, investor, small town mayor, the American born Baron is a bastion of French charm.

The creative light works of Israeli born artist Izhar Patkin added to the an atmosphere of Paris at the turn of the Twentieth Century, projecting classic patterns across the walls and ceilings of the Waldorf’s Grand Ballroom. The “work” reflected the influence of early Twentieth Century Painter Edouard Vuillard (an exhibit of whose 50 years of work begins in May, 2012, at The Jewish Museum) and helped carry each masquerader back to an evening in Paris.

Patkin has lived in New York almost four decades. He creates “cultural narratives” using mediums from light to glass, finding inspiration in European, American and Israeli traditions. A collaboration of his work with the late Kashmiri poet   Agha Shahid Ali is planned to open at the Tel Aviv Museum in June 2012.

Baron David de Rothshild, Honorary Chairman of the 2012 Purim Ball of the Jewish Museum of New York addressed the beautifully masked revelers. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

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