In fact, it was the first such event the newly opened museum had hosted, a particularly this town-style bragging right not lost on the 60 or so VIP guests, including actress Emayatzy Corinealdi, artist Lorna Simpson and museum council co-chair Linda Johnson Rice.
Hosted by Dom Pérignon and the museum, the four-course meal set against the backdrop of impossible views of the Washington monument all the way up to the U.S. Capitol, was a “pinch yourself” moment for Adjaye and his firm David Adjaye & Associates.
“This museum really is a hundred years in the making,” said Adjaye, whose company was selected to design the building, a contemporary bronze crown on Constitution Avenue, in 2009. “To go from a thought in the middle of the night to being here now is kind of a magical moment.”
Adjaye, who was once rumored to be on the shortlist to design President Obama’s library in Chicago, then thanked his wife, Ashley, a former model turned MBA, who he said endured “lots of pain” during the seven-year design process.
“So it’s nice to be drinking champagne,” Adjaye joked.
After the plates of candied yam velouté and new shell lobster, which induced a steady stream of “wows” and “ahhhs,” were cleared, the crowd headed downstairs to the museum’s Contemplative Court, a meditative space which features a cascading waterfall. On the ride down, one attendee summed up the night thusly: “This is something we’ll remember forever.”