Cynthia Rowley, Wes Gordon, Emily Hampshire, and More Dance with MGMT at the Annual Whitney Art Party

MGMT at the Whitney Art Party. All photography by Madison Voelkel/BFA and courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art. 

The Whitney Museum of Art stayed open later than usual last night for its annual Art Party. Helmed by co-chairs Natalie Ball, Edward Barsamian, Micaela Erlanger, Kambui Olujimi, and Steven Beltrani, the sold-out, botanical-themed fête transformed the Kenneth C. Griffin Hall into a darkened dancefloor complete with cascading floral arrangements by East Olivia.

Guests bedecked in flower-inspired getups sipped on cocktails from Casa Dragones and Dry Farm Wines as singer-songwriter and visual artist Samantha Urbani opened the night with a DJ set. Hosted by Whitney Contemporaries and sponsored by Aesop and Cynthia Rowley, it announced the art world's comeback after the holiday hiatus. Museum trustees David Cancel and Claudia Laviada; art advisor Anwarii Musa; Hauser & Wirth’s Jonathan Gardenhire; and artist Natalie Ball, whose Whitney presentation "bilwi naats Ga’niipci" on view during the party, were all in attendance for the fundraiser, the profits of which support the museum’s Independent Study Program.

Artists Paul Arnhold, Salman Toor, and Miles Greenberg, as well as photographers Ethan James Green and Quil Lemons, stepped out. The fashion set, too, were in fine form, with appearances from Carolina Herrera Creative Director Wes Gordon, styling maven Natalie Lim Suarez, and designer Meruert Tolegen.

Samantha Urbani

Art Party is never complete without a tease: attendees were given a special preview of the museum’s latest exhibition, "Harold Cohen: AARON," an exploration in A.I. art-making’s origins. The museum has taken a particular interest in the artist’s bespoke software creations, collecting iterations of the technology spanning from its inception in the 1960s to Cohen’s death in 2016. Featuring work not on view since the ‘90s, the show was a treat for party-goers.

Once the dance floor filled back up, MGMT followed up Urbani’s set with their own turn on the tables. Ahead of the release of their new album, Loss of Life, the indie-pop duo spun records until close as guests perused last-chance exhibitions such as "Inheritance" and "Trust Me".