Celebrate Matisse

Montclair Art Museum will celebrate the magic of Matisse at MAM’s spring fundraising events, including a festive Midnight in Paris Gala and after-dark soiree on Saturday, May 13, and a special Puttin’ on the Ritz luncheon featuring the Matisse-inspired Designer’s Challenge on Tuesday, May 16.

These fundraising events will bring together artists, philanthropists, community leaders and friends of MAM for celebrations inspired by the exhibition Matisse and American Art.

“We are first and foremost raising money to support MAM’s exhibitions and art education programs but even more than that we are building a community of support for a Montclair icon that is providing world class art right here in our community,” says Gala Chair, Susan Brady Abadan. “The theme is inspired by Woody Allen’s comedy Midnight in Paris. We want to transport our guests into the exhilarating world of Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein’s salon including Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, and more.”

The Museum’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Midnight in Paris Gala and After Party on May 13, will be a special evening highlighting the glamor of 1920s Paris with dinner and entertainment. Beginning at 6 p.m., the black tie occasion will also feature an exciting live and silent auction. Tickets start at $500 and include access to the After Party. After Party is a separate event beginning at 9:30 p.m. Guests can enjoy a lively late-night party with delicious treats, dancing, and more. Tickets are $100.

Chaired by Gretchen Prater, the Puttin’ on the Ritz spring luncheon and Designer’s Challenge will take place on May 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will include an in-depth presentation on Henri Matisse and his timeless influence on American art by MAM Chief Curator Gail Stavitsky. Guests will be seated at tables designed in the spirit of Matisse, with tablescapes created by local designers inspired by the French master. A winning design will be selected the day of the event. Tickets start at $200.

Baristanet got a sneak peek at some of the designers tablescape inspirations:


Anna Coy, owner of  Blooms in Hand, will show her interpretation of Matisse’s work through the medium of flowers. “There is so much inspiration to draw from when seeing Henri Matisse’s work in person. His depiction of playful movement through the use of primary colors is the concept that is driving my design for the luncheon. Not to give away the surprise but there will be levels of color spilling into one another. I want the flowers to appear to dance.”


Sandra Funk, founder and principal designer of House of Funk says she is contemplating Matisse’s views and thoughts, in addition to his palette and attitude. “His work is more and more charming the more I dig into his point of view – I love a rebel, and he was certainly a trailblazer in the art world. The palette that I am working with comes from Landscape at Collioure. We always start with emotion – how our clients want to FEEL in their spaces, so this speaks to me. I love that Matisse had to amp up the color to match his emotions.”



Zac Tishbein of Table Leg Home says, “I love the abstract and unusual color mix of Matisse. The contrasts are unexpected and powerful”