Bowen & Company erected our very own bigtop this fall onsite at the new Museum for African Art in Harlem to host 450 guests for dinner to celebrate the Museum’s first annual Leaders in African Art and Philanthropy Awards. The event began with cocktails and a silent auction inside the Museum’s not-yet-open-to-the-public building. Translation: construction zone. This setting gave new meaning to the term “raw space.”
Following cocktails, guests were beckoned into the aforementioned tent for dinner, accompanied by Arturo O’Farrill—of Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra fame—and his Quartet. This was a new domain that had been in preparation since 6:00am four days prior, when tent installation and road closures began. A floor was built on top of the plaza and the Duke Ellington Circle outside the Museum and covered in plush violet-hued carpet. Exotic florals by John Yarce of Organica NY decorated the tables, and small reminders that we were dining on the street peppered the dining room much to the enjoyment of guests: a street sign, a lamppost, and six young trees to name a few.
All these distinctions are what made our event unique and memorable. In future years, we look forward to hosting many elegant affairs in the completed Robert A. M. Stern-designed Museum. But, this fall, we were able to provide our guests with a one-of-a-kind experience that can never be replicated. So, embrace your space! You and your guests will relish the results.
Photographs Courtesy of André Maier LLC Photography