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MAD BALL 2020 Presented by Museum of Arts and Design
October 15, 2020

Opposite Photo:
Judy Chicago





Judy Chicago burst into tears when crowned during MAD Ball 2020. "I have gotten a number of awards, and this tops them all. What is most meaningful to me
is to help MAD because my goal always has been to make a contribution. I have a long history with MAD." The crown itself has "a vaginal opening, pink velvet center, snake symbols which are the archetypical phallic motif, and spoons referencing Judy's The Dinner Party," explained artist Trulee Hall, who created the award made of heatform moldable thermoplastic sheets.

MAD Ball, a virtual benefit for the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), connected people everywhere via Zoom, some even gathering safely for small, in-person watch parties at homes and restaurants. The action-packed evening kicked off with a warm introduction from MAD's Chair Michele Cohen live from East Hampton and was hosted by MX Justin Vivian Bond, live from their home in Hudson, New York (and with a special guest appearance by their cat, Leather). Rosanne Cash performed a heartfelt song and praised Chicago, "You've cleared a path for young
women around the world. Not just young women but old women, as well."

Judy Chicago was live via Zoom from the Santa Fe home of her friends and gallerists Tonya Turner Carroll and Michael Carroll, joined by friends and collectors, including Jordan Schnitzer. Sporting her trademark smoky purple hair and magenta lips, she sparked a sartorial competition; MAD's Chief Curator Elissa Auther wore "Judy" glasses and a yellow feather boa, while MAD Assistant Curator Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy appeared with a full face of artful rainbow eye shadow. The evening included a live conversation with Judy, a conversation between Chicago
and Auther produced by Chiara Clemente, and a tour of The Dinner Party with Brooklyn Museum Curator Carmen Hermo. Tinu Naija, philanthropist and designer, delivered a personal message to MAD Champions Award recipient Barbara Tober (in Valentino). "To my good friend...I miss you, our lunches, and your very handsome husband," said Naija, with a big smile on her face. Also celebrated were
Donald Tober and MAD's longtime trustees—Simona and Jerome A. Chazen, and Laura and Lewis Kruger.

MAD's young patrons group, MAD Luminaries, gathered at New York City's Spring Place for a socially distanced gathering hosted by Trustee Alexander Hankin with attending artists Shantell Martin, Fischer Cherry, and Mia Wright-Ross.

The evening included a special tribute in remembrance of the late Nanette L. Laitman by Michele Cohen and Laitman's granddaughter Abby Eletz.
MAD Ball guests included: Timo Weiland, Nick Hissom, Kameron Ramirez, ThankYouX, Kevin Scott Hees, Polina Proshkina and Yan Assoun, Christina Senia, Swoon, Andrew Erdos, Ralph Gibson, Sheila Pepe & Carrie Moyer, Bonnie Eletz, Cathy Seligman, Helen Drutt, Meriel Lari, Patricia Specter, Elizabeth Stribling, Cece Black, Joanna Fisher, Larry Milstein, Didi and Oscar Schafer, Sybil Yurman, and Kathy Landy. Other members of MAD's Board who were present included: Eric and Barbara Dobkin, Patti and Michael Dweck, Linda and Seth Plattus, Cynthia and Jeffrey Manocherian, Klara and Larry Silverstein, Marsy Mittlemann, Mike DePaola, Barbara Waldman, Angela Sun, and Ann Kaplan.

The annual MAD Ball, like MAD itself, celebrates the role of craft in history, culture, and society. Founded and nurtured by philanthropist Aileen Osborn, MAD places the value of craft at the center of its focus, promoting a view of the world unobstructed by traditional definitions of fine art.


Judy Chicago is an artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual whose career now spans five decades. Her influence both within and beyond the art community is attested to by her inclusion in hundreds of publications throughout the world. Chicago has remained steadfast in her commitment to the power of art as a vehicle for intellectual transformation and social change and to women’s right to engage in the highest level of art production. As a result, she has become a symbol for people everywhere, known and respected as an artist, writer, teacher, feminist and
humanist whose work and life are models for an enlarged definition of art, an expanded role for the artist, and women’s right to freedom of expression. In 2018 Chicago was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”.

For more information, visit

Judy Chicago has had a long and significant history with the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) including exhibitions, publications, and works in the MAD permanent collection. Through the generous gift of tapestry weaver Audrey Cowan and her husband Bob, MAD acquired the cycle of tapestries designed by Chicago and woven by Cowan, her longtime collaborator. The gift includes two major tapestries, The Creation and The Fall, from the Birth Project and the Holocaust Project, five other tapestries, and many of Chicago’s most important cartoons and studies. MAD also houses the archive documenting Audrey’s collaboration with Judy Chicago.
In 2011, The Creation was exhibited at MAD as part of an exhibition titled Judy Chicago

Tapestries: Woven by Audrey Cowan, the first survey of Chicago’s tapestry designs.


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments
that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design. For more information, visit













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