Artists, philanthropists, gallery owners, collectors and entertainment world notables gathered at the Hammer Museum’s 12th annual Gala in the Garden on Oct. 11, which raised a record-setting $2.5 million for the Hammer’s renowned exhibitions and free public programs.

The sold-out gala was held in the museum’s outdoor courtyard and honored artist Mark Bradford and musician and cultural icon Joni Mitchell. The event included tribute speeches by bestselling author and art historian Sarah Lewis for Bradford and award-winning filmmaker Cameron Crowe for Mitchell. Singer/songwriter Sia entertained guests with a three-song performance after dinner. Danna and Ed Ruscha and actors Emily Blunt and John Krasinski served as co-chairs with Bottega Veneta Creative Director Tomas Maier. Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques created the menu for the seated dinner, which was attended by more than 600 guests.

Hammer Museum Director Ann Philbin, wearing a Bottega Veneta dress, and Bottega Veneta President & CEO Marco Bizzarri greeted such luminaries as John Baldessari, Jack Black, Orlando Bloom, Viveca and Will Ferrell, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Amy Wakeland, Matt Groening, January Jones, Jarl and Pamela Mohn, Demi Moore, Susan and Leonard Nimoy, Julia Roberts, Kara Walker, Mary Weatherford, and Rita Wilson.

The party began as guests mingled over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while also exploring the Hammer’s exhibitions including Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take; Robert Heinecken: Object Matter; and Mandala of Compassion.

Once seated for dinner, guests were welcomed by the museum’s Board Chair Marcy Carsey who thanked the Hammer staff and gala co-chairs for another spectacular event and introduced Mayor Eric Garcetti. The Mayor praised the Hammer’s contribution to Los Angeles’ creative culture, highlighting Made in L.A. and Arts ReSTORE LA as examples of the spirit of collaboration that characterizes the city. Ann Philbin then began the evening’s presentations by acknowledging and thanking Bottega Veneta for their continued generous support of the Gala and announced this year’s event had raised a record-breaking $2.5 million. Philbin also shared that the museum had seen a 25% increase in visitors since introducing free admission in February.

Known for its understated elegance, this year’s Gala in the Garden featured custom ebony wood wide-plank tables with charcoal linen napkins, arrangements of hydrangeas, and hundreds of hand-poured white candles in glass hurricanes. Artist Refik Anadol designed an immersive digital installation in the Hammer Courtyard, projecting dynamic light sequences on every surface including the building and trees. The Gala was orchestrated by the Hammer’s Deputy Director of Advancement, Jennifer Wells Green and Director of Donor Relations, David Morehouse with Mitie Tucker Event Production. Floral arrangements by Eric Buterbaugh Flower Design.

Read more about the Gala in the Garden.