Hip-Hop, Trill Burgers, Lynn Wyatt and Warhol! Go Inside MFAH’s $2 Million Gala Night!

Jenny Antill Clifton and Wilson Parish
Hip-Hop, Trill Burgers, Lynn Wyatt and Warhol! Go Inside MFAH’s $2 Million Gala Night!

Bun B performing

AS THE FALL social season begins to overlap the holidays, one of Houston’s grandest blue-chip galas unfolded in the The Caroline Wiess Law Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston — raising well over $2 million!


MFAH’s annual Grand Gala Ball, with Van Cleef & Arpels ballyhooed as underwriter, “drew more than 425 guests, entering through a tent adorned with hot pink drapery, and a gold chandelier,” said a museum rep. “Upon entering the cocktail space, a diamond shaped bar greeted guests, flanked by works by Andy Warhol.” The Warhols and urbane vibe underscored the “Icons” theme, as championed by chairs Nicole and Evan H. Katz.

Baroque crystal chandeliers, black acrylic tables, a huge movie screen showing clips of Texas-made movies, and a racy mix of red- and pink-hued florals lent to the sexy-than-the-average-gala vibe. Dinner included, to start, a cold poached lobster with baby arugula, shaved fennel, olives, toasted pistachio and grilled artichoke salad; beef tenderloin accompanied by a savory leek-wrapped bread pudding made a sophisticated, hearty entrée. For dessert: an old-fashioned pecan ball with chocolate sauce, an iconic Houston favorite to be sure.

Entertainment for the affair was varied and at times stirring. LA-based Brandon Wattz crooned love songs and jazzy pop numbers throughout a dinner. A dashingly tuxedo’d Bun B took to the mic afterward, giving guests a surprise hip-hop show. Mr. Bun’s Trill Burgers also took over a museum terrace, with cooks grilling up delicious smash burgers for a raved-over midnight snack!

Per usual, a who’s-who of city society and top philanthropists showed up to support MFAH, including Nancy and Rich Kinder, Susan Sarofim, Joan Weingarten Schnitzer, Rose Cullen, Lynn Wyatt, Margaret Alkek Williams, Anne and Albert Chao, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Dan Zimmerman, Whitney and Jim Crane, Tony and Cynthia Petrello, Ron Franklin and Janet Gurwitch.

Franci Neely, Margaret Alkek Williams, Phoebe Tudor

Nancy and Rich Kinder

Andrew and Mona Sarofim

Richard Flowers, Lynn Wyatt, Angel Rios

Anne and Albert Chao

Gary Tinterow and Christopher Gardner

Bun B and Queenie with chairs Nicole and Evan Katz

Laura Stokes with a Trill Burger

Jonathan and Lily Schnitzer

Amy Doherty and Alexandra Butt

Bun B performs at the 2023 Grand Gala Ball

Trill Burgers at the gala

The cocktail area

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