Scene & Heard: Salons by the Shore benefits MOCA

Special to the Los Angeles Times

The Salons by the Shore, a series benefitting the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, came to a close on consecutive Sundays with Urs Fischer's "Dialogue" and Richard Prince's "Art Talk." The former was at the home of Peter Morton, the latter at that of Edythe and Eli Broad. Both Malibu homes were designed by Getty architect Richard Meier & Partners and showcased contemporary art.

With crowd size deliberately limited for the sake of intimate conversations with the artists, just over 60 guests had brunch on Hard Rock Café co-founder Morton's deck Sept. 26 before settling into a cozy living room to hear Fischer describe his works, which often incorporate materials such as chairs, doors and fresh produce. Also under discussion: the challenges of exhibiting them.

In the idyllic California setting, dolphins swam by just beyond the deck, while inside a Fischer artwork leaned against one wall, a surfboard against another.

At the next salon, on Oct. 3, guests dined at a single long table stretching along the Broads' seaside patio. All later assembled indoors beneath a monumental Alexander Calder mobile for Prince's discussion of his advertising images, muscle-car sculptures and art house, which burned to the ground after a lightning strike. Of the bizarre event, museum director Jeffrey Deitch said, "It completes the mythology."

Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, Edythe Broad, Nancy Marks and Maria Bell co-chaired the series, and in thanking the hosts, Tartikoff Karatz added a special message for the Broads. "On a personal note, I adore them," she said. "And on a MOCA note, they make it possible for us to exist." The Broads contributed $30 million to help the museum in 2008.

Attending one or more of the salons were Maria and Bill Bell, Suzanne Nora Johnson and David Johnson, Janet and Gil Friesen, Mandy and Cliff Einstein, Carla and Fred Sands, Joyce and Michael Ostin, Mo Ostin, Carolyn Powers, Jenny Jones, Lauren King, Grazka Taylor, Rita Wilson, Larry Gagosian, Irving Blum, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Adam Lindemann, Amalia Dayan and sponsors Miety Heiden of Sotheby's and Charles Delapalme of Louis Vuitton.

Women's Cancer Research

As a launch to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Gucci staged a luncheon Oct. 1 at E. Baldi in Beverly Hills in honor of the Women's Cancer Research Fund. There, WCRF founders Rita Wilson, Marion Laurie, Quinn Ezralow and Kelly Chapman Meyer joined 50 others to learn the latest thoughts on the effect of diet and environment on cancer.

"If you're going to talk about cancer, you need to talk about environmental toxins," Chapman Meyer said. "They're in the water, the air, the food that we eat." And by the time keynote speaker Marisa Weiss finished her talk on the subject, guests were ready to race home and purge their refrigerators of potentially harmful foods. Weiss is a breast cancer oncologist and founder of the information-filled website,

Weiss said, "Every time we take a product in, it can have an impact on our cells. Whatever we're eating, drinking, what we breathe in, use — as in suntan lotion or makeup — or take — as in medicines — it's an easy opportunity to make a healthy choice."

WCRF seeks better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat women's cancers. Other speakers included Rachel Beller of the Beller Nutritional Institute and Heinz-Josef Lenz of USC's Keck School of Medicine. Also attending were Laura Lendrum, president of Gucci America; Jennifer Meyer; Sarah Emanuel; Nina Montee; Shelli Azoff; Frances Fisher; Camila Alves; Patrick Vos of Gucci, Beverly Hills; and the Keck School's Peter Laird and Dean Carmen Puliafito.

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