Elizabeth Alexander, Suzanne Deal Booth, and Christian Louboutin Honored at World Monuments Fund 33rd Annual Hadrian Gala
On Monday, October 24, World Monuments Fund (WMF) hosted its 33rd annual Hadrian Gala in New York City, honoring Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation; philanthropist Suzanne Deal Booth; and designer, entrepreneur, and businessman Christian Louboutin for their commitment and contributions to preserving and protecting monuments around the world.
Held at the iconic Rainbow Room, the gala commenced with co-chairs Lorna B. Goodman and Phoebe Tudor welcoming guests and Bénédicte de Montlaur, President and CEO of WMF, sharing the organization’s latest projects, such as its new partnership with Magnum Foundation, a unique global collaboration aimed at showcasing the talents of emerging, local photographers as they tell the stories of cultural heritage sites from the perspectives of local stakeholders. As Bénédicte stated, “One of the things that drives us at WMF is the belief that what we do around the world helps bring us all a bit closer together. By highlighting places that reflect the diversity of humanity’s creative voices, cultural heritage preservation can play an important role in building a more inclusive global society. And this year we are thrilled to be collaborating with like-minded partners to help further this goal.”
The evening continued with Dr. Paul M. Farber, Director of Monument Lab, presenting the first Hadrian Award honoree of the night, Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, for her longstanding commitment to empowering communities through initiatives like The Monuments Project. Dr. Paul M. Faber stated, “Tonight, thanks to the World Monuments Fund, we are here to honor the brilliant and dear Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, who does her part to honor the true gravity of memory, of presence and absence in our monument landscape. As a poet, leader, scholar, teacher, daughter, mother, partner, and friend, she is inspiring us to change our nation’s monument landscape.”
Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, Mellon Foundation President, continued, “The greatest impact cultural heritage preservation has is that it is driven by telling complete stories. Telling the truth, giving a sense of all the voices that make up a community, a nation, the world and calling out where history has been misstated."
Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of LACMA, later presented the Hadrian Award to Suzanne Deal Booth for her role as a leading figure in conservation projects around the world. Stated Govan, “Please join me in congratulating Suzanne Deal Booth, who has been committed to the recognition, preservation, and conservation of visual arts and cultural heritage for more than three decades.” Philanthropist Suzanne Deal Booth described her devotion to conservation when stating, “My passion for this field, the preservation of cultural heritage, has been fueled over the years by wanting just to learn about history and to participate not only in contemporary history, our world today, but to experience older sites and to learn from other cultures. It brings great joy to me to learn about other people, how they live, and what they cherish and to be involved in those endeavors.”
Diane von Furstenberg, Founder, DVF, and author, presented the last Hadrian Award of the night to Christian Louboutin for his dedication to cultural heritage and engagement in Egypt, and exclaimed, “He is himself a monument––a monument of creativity. Christian Louboutin is the world’s acclaimed designer, he is a visionary, and he is a magician, because he can make things happen. He is also one of my closest friends.”
Christian Louboutin followed these comments by restating his passion for history and cultural preservation: “By helping to preserve monuments, objects, and fine arts, I truly believe that one contributes to a better world. And if we want to understand and respect the diversity of the world, what is better than reviving its excellence, often faded, but still there, waiting to show again the richness of its culture and the power of what it once was?”
The 2022 Hadrian Gala was hosted by Co-Chairs Lorna B. Goodman and Phoebe Tudor, and Honorary Co-Chairs Mel Chin, Pierre Lagrange, and Diane von Furstenberg, and ended with a lively auction led by Christies’s Jennifer Wright. The event raised a record $1.4 million.
Since 1988, World Monuments Fund has presented the Hadrian Award to recognize leadership that advances the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of the world’s art and architecture. Each year, WMF’s Hadrian Gala honors champions of conservation for their passionate commitment and extraordinary contributions to preserving and protecting the world’s shared cultural heritage.
The evening was made possible by the generosity of Christian Louboutin and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) with support provided by Saks Fifth Avenue and in-kind support provided by Champagne Taittinger and Christie's.