2015 McKim Gala - A Starry Night in Rome

June 12, 2015
McKim Gala Table setting
McKim Gala Tent
Linda Douglass and US Ambassador John R. Phillips
Trustees Calvin Tsao and Mary Margaret Jones
AAR Director Kim Bowes & Trustee Emerita Mercedes T. Bass
Lauren Weinberg and Academy Trustee Adam Weinberg
Alessia Bulgari and Damiana Leoni
Fabio Salini, Soledad Twombly and Eric Wright
Jacqueline Schnabel, Lola Schnabel and Alain Elkann
Emma Winter Agnelli
Italian Fellow Francesca Grilli (visual artist)
Silvia Venturini Fendi, Maria Teresa Venturini Fendi, and Maria Ilaria Venturini Fendi
Artist Martino Gamper with wife, artist Francis Upritchard (at center), and guests
Valeria Solarino
Chiara Francini and Stephane Gerschel
Trustee David Lang, Suzanne Bocanegra & Trustee Calvin Tsao
Gala Chair/Trustee Ginvera Elkann with AAR President Mark Robbins
Cocktails at the Villa Aurelia
Marco Bocci and Giulia Michelini
Valeria Bilello and Alessandra Mastronardi
Giulio Berruti and Sofia Odescalchi
McKim Gala guests
McKim Gala guests
Alice Waters with Trustee Jessie Price
Heiskell Arts Director Peter Benson Miller with guest
Trustee Cary Davis greets actress Valeria Golino
McKim Gala guests
Gala Chair/Trustee Ginvera Elkann & Trustee Mary Margaret Jones
McKim Gala guests
McKim Gala Dinner
2015 McKim Laureate Carlo Petrini
Alice Waters with 2015 McKim Laureate Carlo Petrini
2015 McKim Laureate Paolo Sorrentino and presenter Valeria Golino
Paolo Sorrentino greets past McKim Laureate Bernardo Bertolucci
Ginevra Elkann with Carlo Petrini
Guests enjoy dessert and music at Villa Aurelia
Guest John Elkann with wife Lavinia Borromeo
Marella Caracciolo Chia and a guest.
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Over 475 guests recently gathered to honor Carlo Petrini and Paolo Sorrentino at the American Academy in Rome’s 2015 McKim Medal Gala. A wide variety of Italian and American luminaries from the worlds of art, fashion, business, and academia enjoyed cocktails, music and conversation in the candlelit gardens of the Villa Aurelia. The evening was styled in the manner of a modern garden party, as envisioned by filmmaker and philanthropist Ginevra Elkann, who served as Gala Chair.

The jasmine-scented Secret Garden led to an elegant outdoor dining room beautifully decorated and arranged with flowers and herbs, with the full moon and the Villa as a backdrop. Ms. Elkann opened the program with Mary Margaret Jones, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Trustees. They thanked the audience for supporting the gala and raising over $550,000 for the Italian Fellows program, which provides a unique opportunity for Italian scholars and artists to live and work as part of the American Academy in Rome’s dynamic international community.

Academy President Mark Robbins then introduced the program, reminding everyone of the important link between Italian and American cultural history. Chef Alice Waters, who created the dinner menu (prepared by the Academy’s Rome Sustainable Food Project), presented the first McKim Medal to author and food activist Carlo Petrini. Actress Valeria Golino presented the 2nd McKim Medal to award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino, who literally stole the show with a humorous monologue describing his dread at delivering a thank you speech with Bernardo Bertolucci in the audience.

Coverage of event included the New York Times ( and Vogue Italy (

All photos by Gerardo Gataeni or Stefano Trovati/SGP.