But we'll clue you in: Last week, OC was partying in Hamburg (no, not at Thessa's Facebook party!) with Montblanc for a black tie dinner to toast the city's art scene. It was held in the industrial, steel and glass exhibition space of the Deichtorhallen Hamburg where Montblanc fêted one of its twelve winners of this year's Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award.
Keep reading the party report, including a private concert from Lang Lang!
A jury of international artists (including Darcey Bussell and Catherine Malfitano) chose 12 winners from a shortlist of 36. For Germany they chose Dr. Harald Falckenberg, a Hamburg-based professor who teaches at the city's Academy for Visual Arts and is on the board of London's Tate and NYC's MoMA. He was picked for his enthusiasm and support of contemporary art -- stemming from his collection of 2,000 works that are at Hamburg's Phoenix-Hallen. He was given 15,000 euro which he donated to four Hamburg art venues/museums, and he added 25,000 of his own euro to the pot.
(Lang and Falckenberg, photo Montblanc)
German gallery owners and artists from Hamburg's elegant art scene chatted with Montblanc brand ambassadors (Lang Lang!) at white banquet tables clustered with white peonies, hyacinths and white candles over a yummy dinner of Der Blaue Hummer's fish dishes.
Falckenberg thanked his friends, including Robert Wilson who toasted the professor with a tone poem straight from the pages of the beat generation poets. Lang Lang took the stage and said he had just arrived from Vienna where he's recording a new CD with Gergiev. He then defiled the Steinway and played Liszt's Consolation no.3, the Liebenstraum, and Chopin’s “Black Key” etude while 89-year-old British thespian Sir Christopher Lee looked on (with his fierce wife Lady Gitte Lee).
(Sir Christopher Lee and wife, Lady Gitte)
As the landscape of arts funding shifts, arts organizations around the world have declared bankruptcy, enacted lay-offs, and scaled back initiatives from merciless funding cuts. With so many cultural organizations facing precarious financial futures, the philanthropic outreaches by private and corporate companies are crucial. Montblanc's been a visible corporate sponsor of culture and arts and since 1992, the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award has donated generously to passionate patrons of the arts (Valery Gergiev is also among this year's winners).
Falckenberg was also presented with the 2011 Montblanc Patron of Art pen. This year was the Maecenas pen, triute to wealthy Roman diplomat Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, a top advisor to Roman Emperor Augustus and benefactor of Horace and Virgil. Latin drill gerund and gerundives trauma flashbacks!
Packed with Roman references, Falckenberg was presented with one of 888, richly-detailed 750 solid gold and marble pens. In a nod to Montblanc’s gorgeous craftsmanship, Falckenberg joked that while the monetary award of 15,000 euro of donations was pretty cool, he was keeping the pen for himself.