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Museum of Arts and Design to Present Annual Visionaries! Awards at its MAD Ball on November 1, 2016, Celebrating its Diamond Jubilee 60th Anniversary

The evening will honor Charles S. Cohen, the late Zaha Hadid, Angela Missoni, and Yinka Shonibare

Lead corporate sponsor: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Hosted by Simon Doonan

New York, NY (September 30, 2016)

On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at Pier 60, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will hold its annual gala celebrating outstanding individuals in the arts and design fields. For 20 years, the MAD Ball has recognized visionaries in the worlds of business, arts, philanthropy, and creativity, reflecting MAD's mission to celebrate innovation and excellence across all creative disciplines. This year's Visionaries! Awards will honor design advocate, patron, and longtime MAD Trustee Charles S. Cohen; the late architect Zaha Hadid; Italian design innovator Angela Missoni; and conceptual artist Yinka Shonibare. Hosted by Simon Doonan, the 2016 event will bring together 500 guests, including art patrons, artists, designers, and noted corporate and civic leaders, and will introduce the Museum's new Nanette L. Laitman Director, Jorge Daniel Veneciano.

The MAD Ball is the Museum's most important annual fundraiser. Proceeds help fund MAD's general operations as well as its education, public, and exhibition programs, which serve over 300,000 people per year. The Visionaries! Awards, presented during the ball, honor a range of artists, designers, and artisans, as well as the enterprises and patrons that support them. The Museum commissioned New York–based artist Tom Sachs to create this year's awards.

The Museum proudly recognizes KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the official airline of MAD, as the lead corporate sponsor of MAD Ball 2016. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines showcases top creative Dutch talent, including Hella Jongerius, Jan Taminiau, and Marcel Wanders, to elevate the customer experience and bring style, comfort, and sustainability to all aspects of its aircraft.

The chairs of MAD Ball 2016 are Iris Apfel, Andi Potamkin Blackmore, Cecily M. Carson, Jerome A. Chazen, Michele Cohen, Shari Siadat Loeffler, Linda Plattus, and Ralph Pucci.

MAD Ball 2016 will begin at 6:30 pm with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner, the Visionaries! Awards presentation, and live entertainment starting at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased online at or by contacting Stephanie Lang at 212.299.7729 or


Charles S. Cohen
As owner, President, and CEO of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation, Charles S. Cohen has achieved a national reputation for exceptional business acumen, innovation, and creativity. His real estate portfolio includes over 12 million square feet of prime commercial properties in New York, Texas, Southeast Florida, and Southern California. He redeveloped Manhattan's D&D Building, Los Angeles' Pacific Design Center, Design Center of the Americas, and Decorative Center Houston, all of which serve thousands of design professionals and design aficionados. A lifelong film enthusiast, Cohen has produced Academy Award nominated films; his Cohen Media Group produces and distributes renowned independent and foreign films throughout the world, while the Cohen Film Collection is comprised of over 800 landmark films. The Republic of France named him a Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite in 2014 and a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2015 for his significant contributions promoting French cinema and art in the U.S. Cohen serves on the boards of trustees for the Museum of Arts and Design, the French Institute Alliance Française, Lighthouse Guild, and the Real Estate Board of New York.

Zaha Hadid
Born in Baghdad, Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid (1950-2016), DBE, founder and late partner of Zaha Hadid Architects, stands as possibly the most decorated and illustrious female architect of all time. Breaking barriers for women architects the world over, Dame Hadid was educated in mathematics at the American University of Beirut and pursued her degree in Architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, under Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis. She was the recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011, and in 2015 she became the only woman to have received the RIBA Gold Medal in her own right. In addition, she received honorary titles from both the French and British governments. Moving from conceptual architecture in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dame Hadid was heavily influenced by constructivism in her early career, before evolving into her later fluid, multi-perspectival style made possible by technological advances in parametric architecture. She completed countless prestigious commissions that became instant neo-futurist icons, including Guangzhou Opera House, the London Olympic Aquatics Centre, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Museum at Michigan State University.

Angela Missoni
Angela Missoni is the Creative Director of Missoni, the iconic and beloved brand that has been at the forefront of Italian fashion since her parents, Ottavio and Rosita, started designing their unconventional and distinctive patterned knits in 1953. Tied to the aesthetic innovation and technical invention that have continuously changed the identity of knitwear, Missoni is one of the best-known, loved, and recognized fashion and design brands in the world. Missoni inaugurated - and has affirmed for over sixty years - an unmistakable way of dressing and living: with a colorful “put-together” of zigzag motifs, stripes, waves, and slub yarns in a patchwork of geometric and floral jacquard. 

Angela Missoni, who's celebrating her 20th year as Creative Director next year, is responsible for bringing her family's business forward, reinventing the historied house codes season after season and infusing the brand with a new and modern energy. She assumes sole responsibility for the company's inimitable style, including the men's collection and licensees, and has offered the brand's signature aesthetic to a number of high-profile partnerships and collaborations, most notably the Missoni for Target collection in 2011. Angela Missoni is also credited with renewing the brand's global store concept and for giving the ad campaigns a contemporary slant, working with talents including Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, Mario Testino, Ryan McGinley, Juergen Teller, Kenneth Anger, and Harley Weir. Angela Missoni's myriad contributions have solidified Missoni as one of the best representatives of Italian fashion and design excellence around the world.

Yinka Shonibare 

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, was born in 1962 in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria, at the age of three. He received an MFA at Goldsmiths College. Shonibare's work explores race and class through the media of painting, sculpture, photography, and film, and questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions. His trademark material is the brightly colored "African" batik fabric, inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch, and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s, this material became a new sign of African identity and independence. In 2002, Shonibare was commissioned by Okwui Enwezor at Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany, to create his most recognized work, Gallantry and Criminal Conversation, which launched him on to an international stage. A 2004 Turner Prize nominee and a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or MBE, he has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and internationally at leading museums; in 2008, a major mid-career survey commenced at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and toured to the Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art. His work Nelson's Ship in a Bottle was the 2010 Fourth Plinth Commission and was displayed in Trafalgar Square, London—the first commission by a black British artist. He was elected a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy, London, in 2013. Shonibare's works are included in prominent collections of international museums, including the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Past honorees of MAD's Visionaries!Awards include:

  • Architects and designers Ron Arad, Michael Aram, Victoire de Castellane, Michael Graves, Vladimir Kagan, John Loring, Ligne Roset, Nadja Swarovski, Lella and Massimo Vignelli, Marcel Wanders
  • Business leaders Daniel L. Doctoroff, President of Bloomberg LP; Jean-Louis Dumas, Chairman of Hermès; Craig Leavitt, CEO of Kate Spade; Ian Schrager; Martha Stewart, Burton M. Tansky, CEO of Neiman Marcus
  • Artists El Anatsui, Dale Chihuly, Ruth Duckworth, Sophia Grojsman, Sam Maloof, William Morris, Frank Stella, Lino Tagliapietra, Toshiko Takaezu, Lenore Tawney, Peter Voulkos, David and Sybil Yurman, Eva Zeisel
  • Gallerists Linda Boone and Ferdinand Hampson, Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio, Helen W. Drutt English, Barry Friedman, Douglas and Michael Heller
  • Patrons of the arts Jerome Chazen, Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, Nanette L. Laitman, Henry Luce III, Barbara Tober

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. The City of New York declared November 1, 2016 Museum of Arts and Design Day through a Mayoral Proclamation on the day of the commencement of the Museum's Diamond Jubilee year.

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