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Museum of Arts and Design Gala to Celebrate Museum's 65th Anniversary, Honor Architect and Interior Designer William Sofield, and Welcome New Director Tim Rodgers

Hosted by Machine Dazzle, MAD Ball takes place on Thursday, October 21, 2021
at the Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, NYC

New York, NY (September 27, 2021)

On Thursday, October 21, 2021, beginning at 5:00 pm ET, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will hold its annual MAD Ball gala for the first time at the Museum’s home at 2 Columbus Circle, New York City. The benefit will mark the Museum’s 65th anniversary, honor architect and interior designer William Sofield of Studio Sofield, and welcome Tim Rodgers as the MAD’s Nanette L. Laitman Director. The host of the evening will be artist and performer Machine Dazzle, whose avant-garde costume designs will be the focus of a solo exhibition at MAD in 2022.

The celebration will fill the Museum’s galleries and spaces with music and entertainment. MAD Ball highlights will include a conversation between Rodgers and Sofield in the Theater at MAD; cocktails in the Luminaries Lounge with DJ Timo Weiland; maker activities with the Museum’s Artist Studios residents; live music in the galleries performed by celebrated duo Boyd Meets Girl; and a ticketed dinner at Robert restaurant where the winner of the Burke Prize 2021 will be announced, Sofield will be presented with an award created by sculptor and installation artist Adam Milner, and guests will be treated to a special musical performance by Machine Dazzle.

Additionally, MAD Ball will include an online auction, powered by Artsy and opening on October 7, with works from contemporary artists and designers including: Manuel Acevedo, Cynthia Alberto, Natalia Arbelaez, Mimi Bai, Lauren Skelly Bailey, Margaret Braun, Judy Chicago, Greg Climer, Amber Cowan, Machine Dazzle, Jovencio de la Paz, Andrew Erdos, Sebastian Errazuriz, Coulter Fussell, Danielle Gori-Montanelli, Katya Grokhovsky, Trulee Hall, April Hannah, Amir Hariri, Patrick Jacobs, Sophie Kahn, Jiro Kamata, Julia Kunin, Beth Lipman, Tara Locklear, Shantell Martin, Raúl Martinez, Beau McCall, Kathleen McDermott, Luam Melake, Diane Meyer, Adam Milner, Naomi Mishkin, Issey Miyake, Iris Nijenhuis, Bridget Parris, Uli Rapp, Anna Riley, Cheryl R. Riley, Faith Ringgold, Roche Bobois, Erica Rosenfeld, Christina Senia, Kristin Simmons, Rodger Stevens, Swoon, Blakely Thornton, Georgina Trevino, Adejoke Tugbiyele, Francesca Vitali, Timo Weiland, Tali Weinberg, Rhonda Weppler, Mia Wright-Ross, Sheryl Zacharia, and Lilia Ziamou.

A portion of MAD Ball ticket prices is tax deductible and start at $300 and may be purchased at For inquiries, contact Rebekka Grossman at 212.299.7712 or

In accordance with the Mayor of New York City’s Emergency Executive order, all attendees are required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. For information about the Museum’s health and safety protocols, visit:


When William Sofield entered the design profession, he envisioned a workshop dedicated to creative collaborations with patrons, artisans and artists. These priorities inspire the work of Studio Sofield, which has distinguished itself as an interdisciplinary firm noted for the clarity, quality and wit of its projects. In all Studio Sofield employs over 35 designers, with experience in disciplines ranging from architecture, engineering and industrial design to interior, graphic, and landscape design. The Studio’s expertise is applied to a range of services, from residential and environmental design to retail, corporate and hospitality assignments, and exhibition design. In every project, beautiful and functional solutions emerge from an artistic concept that is balanced by an unfailing sensitivity to the client’s needs and tastes.

Sofield graduated with honors in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University, following an academic focus on European Cultural Studies and Art History. He continued his work at the Institute for Advanced Studies, performed archaeological field work in the Yucatan, and specialized in Far Eastern Art. After receiving a Helena Rubinstein Fellowship from the Whitney Museum of American Art, he entered three years of curatorial work in the Independent Study Program. He continues to lecture at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Princeton, Yale, and George Washington Universities, and the University of Texas at Austin, and has served on the faculty of both the Parsons School of Design and Altos de Chavón in Casa de Campo.

With   work   ranging   from   ranch   to   retail   and   hospitality   to   historical   preservation, Sofield’s accomplishments are many and varied. He is the three-time recipient of the Architectural Commission of Beverly Hills’ design award. With his experience in retail branding, Sofield has originated and implemented global identities for Tom Ford, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Ralph Lauren, Belstaff, Derek Lam, Ferragamo, and Coach. His specialty in fine jewelry is evidenced in his work for Harry Winston, FD Gallery, Sotheby’s Diamonds, Tiffany & Co, and Boucheron.

Studio Sofield has earned a privileged reputation for their work in residential design and in particular the restoration and renovation of historically significant structures. Selected work includes Doric Villa by John Nash, Auldbrass Plantation by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Richard Mandel House by Donald Deskey and Edward Durell Stone. Also, Stone is the original architect of the Museum of Arts and Design’s building at 2 Columbus Circle in New York City. Following its receipt of the Excellence in New Design by the Upper East Side Historic District for its work on 135 East 79th Street, the firm is presently engaged on several new residential condominium projects, including Beckford House and Tower, 111 West 57th Street, the Steinway Building, and Paul Rudolph's Halston House.

Sofield has been the recipient of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum National Design Award, inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame, and has continued to be included on Elle Décor’s A List and AD’s Top 100. His furniture and industrial designs can be seen in a breadth of venues from the White House and the Academy Awards to feature films and set design. Above all, William Sofield is a modernist by temperament and a historicist by training. His ethos that design must live as well as it looks guides every impulse of the Studio. His work is characterized by careful consideration of the context on hand and his projects are made to improve with use and age, becoming places of legacy and memory.


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design. For more information, visit

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