A summer party for a wealth management client, held in the Victorian and Contemporary galleries of London's National Portrait Gallery, with a private view of the blockbuster Michael Jackson: On The Wall exhibition, curated by Dr Nicholas Cullinan, the gallery's Director.
The National Portrait Gallery – the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856 – houses a collection of portraits of historically important British people. The Michael Jackson: On The Wall exhibition is a landmark exhibition exploring Jackson’s influence on some of the leading names in contemporary art, bringing together the works of over 40 different artists, drawn from public and private collections around the world, while some pieces have been specially curated for the project from artists including Rita Ackerman, Isaac Julien, Catherine Opie, Grayson Perry and Andy Warhol.
We curated a summer party reception for a wealth manager welcoming their private clients to an evening of jazz, cocktails and canapés in the Victorian and Contemporary Galleries, with tours and private views of the Michael Jackson: On The Wall exhibition in its opening week, guided by art historians with an in-depth knowledge of the impact of Jackson on contemporary art.
We welcomed 300 guests to the St Martin’s Place gallery entrance, with event branding evoking the iconic “King of Pop’s” hat, and the stairs lit in event brand colours, which themselves reflected the exhibition. Guests were welcomed by the client team, and invited to sign-up to exhibition tours before they were guided upstairs to the Victorian Gallery, where the full bar offered them a choice of two cocktails, the Jackson Gin Fizz (we know gin is having a moment) or a Thriller Vodka Lychini – as well as a selection of wine, beer and soft drinks.
Our jazz trio played both traditional and Jackson-themed music, and we served a selection of canapés including Darjeeling sweet potato and red onion bhajis, sweetcorn and polenta cakes, hand-made sushi, miniature duck pancakes with Hoi Sin sauce on a duck spoon and fish & chips in Financial Times Cones. Towards the end of the evening we served two sweet bites: steamed chocolate pudding with hot chocolate sauce and Eton mess with meringue and marshmallows.
Guests were invited to participate in timed tours of the hit Michael Jackson exhibition, led by a group of handpicked art historians and experts, and were welcome to either return to the party after their tour, or for those that wished to enjoy a more intimate view with ample time to discuss the work with the curator.
We created the event branding – both referencing the David LaChapelle 1998 work, An Illuminating Path, and evoking the instantly recognisable image of Michael Jackson’s hat – the high quality print invitation, digital date for the diary and digital travel directions and event print assets. We selected a prestige venue and worked closely with the venue to bring in a specialist caterer with heritage venue expertise. We managed logistics, welcome desk, guest badges, event production, lighting, entertainment, specialist insurance and health and safety, and ensured that the catering and the event ran smoothly on the night.