Reprinted from yesterday's late edition.
It was just an intimate little dinner party for people who like art - Andy Warhol's art in particular - because, of course, the dinner party at the Iranian embassy given by Ambassador Ardeshir Zahedi Monday night was in Warhol's honor.
And for her friend Andy, even fashion doyenne Diana Vreeland made the trek from New York. "I don't believe in politics. Only fools get mixed up in machines. The moment a politician wins he is lost," said Vreeland, who added it was the first time in three years she had actually been to Washington but not, she hastened to add, for lack of invitations.
"It's just that in getting from New York to Washington you lose a day coming and a day going," she said.
However, for Warhol and his New York entourage that included Jane Holzer, Nima and Christopher Isham and Warhol's Interview magazine crowd, it was the last in a series of parties and dinners winding up a weekend spent in Washington celebrating Warhol's exhibit at the Pyramid Gallery on P Street.
"The President was terrific," said Warhol using his customary adjective to describe his meeting with Carter earlier in the day at the White House, but he denied (as did Ambassador Zahedi) that Warhol had ever approached Iran for funding for his art. "They asked me to do the Queen of Iran's portrait but I finished that several months ago," said Warhol.
Meanwhile the Washingtonians among the nearly 100 people assembled claimed they felt no loss at not being at the White House, except perhaps for Vicki Bagley who said: "Where would I be if I could be any place tonight? You mean would I be at the White House instead? I don't know. I wasn't given the chance because we weren't asked tonight. In fact I didn't know there was even a dinner at the White House tonight until I watched the tube before I came here."
However, she added that she and her husband were invited to the White House for next week's dinner.
When asked if her husband, Smith Bagley, had been approached about possibly fulfilling the ambassadorial post to Great Britain, as has been rumored, Vicki Bagley replied "I really don't know about that. I know he's talked to people in the Carter administration." But Mrs. Bagley added that if Carter were to ask them to take the ambassadorial post in Great Britain she would "leave tomorrow."
For his part Smith Bagley acted astonished at even being considered for the post. "Am I really being considered?" he said when asked. He took a no-comment stance from then on.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris said she wasn't upset with not being at the White House. "I'm here for the most obvious reason, I wasn't invited to the White House. The President said it wasn't necessary for all the department heads to be there." Mark Siegel, executive director for art for Carter during the campaign, said that the evening out was a "treat" for him.
"Andy and I met during the campaign. Today we had lunch, met the President, and I took him into the private rooms at the White House."
Though little is known about the habits for the new Carter people, Siegel said that if he hadn't been at the embassy Monday he would probably be at Sarsfield's "where the Redskins hang out." Harris agreed that the new administration was "a bunch of squares. I go home almost every night."
After the buffet dinner the guests adjourned to an adjoining room where dancing centered around Wahol's print of Jimmy Carter entitled, most appropriately. "Jimmy Carter by Andy Warhol."
Among the luminaries who were invited but didn't show were Princess Lee Radziwill and her escort, Peter Tufo, and Mick and Bianca Jagger. But it was probably Yolande Fox who got the last word on that. "Nobody would turn down an invitation from Ardeshir unless they had the swine flu."