A little of New York was shipped to town last night for a tony exhibit-opening dinner at the Phillips Collection. Gloria Foods provided the fancy grapes rolled in chopped pistachio nuts and Jerry Zipkin provided the entertainment. He always does.
"May I have some wine, please?" he asked the waiter. The waiter walked away into the mass of dazzling guests gathered at the gallery for the opening of the Georges Braque exhibit in honor of French Ambassador Bernard Vernier-Palliez.
"Why does he look so shocked because I want some wine? . . . Could you please leave the bottle," he implored the waiter on his return trip. He wouldn't. A third man intervened.
"Make sure," said the man, "that Mr. Zipkin's glass is filled at all times."
"Well, good heavens," gasped Nancy Reagan's close friend, "I'm not that kind of drinker."
"Well, you're certainly acting like one," the man explained calmly.
"I am not a wino," announced Zipkin.
Everyone was very polite about all this, and Zipkin barely touched his wine all evening.
The party of big art donors was hosted by Laughton Phillips, director of the Phillips Collection, and his wife, Jennifer. Phillips' father, Duncan, started the prestigious collection.
"Aren't they simply lovely?" marveled Clayton Fritchey, glancing around at the Braque works. "They almost look like the originals."
Everyone chuckled knowingly.
"You know, it amazes me," he said, "how all these corporate types bought up all these works for nearly nothing years ago. Like Sam Spiegel. He owns two of these. They're probably worth more than he made last year."
Filmmaker Spiegel, engrossed in serious gossip with Zipkin, would not confirm or deny this.
Other notables from New York and other parts included Michael and Nina Straight, Eliza Bliss Parkinson Cobb, David and Carmen Kreeger, Clark MacGregor, Henry J. Heinz III, and Attorney General William French Smith and Jean Smith.