The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), celebrated its 31-year history as one of the world’s leading contemporary art institutions on Saturday, November 13, 2010, with The Artist’s Museum Happening, a celebratory gala envisioned by Los Angeles artist Doug Aitken.

The gala raised more than $3.2 million for the museum and began at MOCA Grand Avenue with red carpet arrivals of Hollywood celebrities including Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, Kate Bosworth, Kirsten Dunst, Rachel Bilson, Ginnifer Goodwin, Chloë Sevigny, Will Ferrell, art-world luminaries, fashion icons, and renowned Los Angeles artists.

The Artist’s Museum Happening, hosted by Gala Chairs Maria Arena Bell and Eli Broad and sponsored by CHANEL Fine Jewelry, began with a private view of The Artist’s Museum, an exhibition featuring the work of 146 L.A. artists from the 1980s to the present, drawn mainly from MOCA’s nearly 6,000-piece permanent collection, as well as loans from prominent Los Angeles–based collectors. After the preview, guests proceeded to the gala tent envisioned by Doug Aitken, to the dramatic beat of 30 acoustic drummers lining the tent’s entrance. Guests settled into the comfort of the gala tent erected over Grand Avenue outside the museum where they were greeted by the first course of an organic garden meal directed by Joanna Moore of Venice-based restaurant Axe in collaboration with Along Came Mary. The museum’s new director, Jeffrey Deitch, and Gala Chairs Maria Arena Bell and Eli Broad welcomed the crowd before a string quintet took the stage to accompany performances by Devendra Banhart, Beck, and Caetano Veloso as part of Doug Aitken’s evening-long experiential artwork, WE.

“The Artist’s Museum Happening has redefined museum galas,” said MOCA Founding Chairman Eli Broad, who also served as Gala Chair. “Los Angeles is clearly the contemporary art capital of the world, and MOCA is at the heart of our capital. Our art, artists, and institutions are unparalleled, and MOCA is drawing international attention and support, as evidenced by last night’s resounding success.”

“We thank everyone who helped support MOCA in surpassing our financial goals for the 2010 Gala,” said MOCA Board of Trustees Co-Chair and Gala Chair Maria Arena Bell. “Not only did we raise more than $3 million for MOCA but we also had the privilege of experiencing and participating in Doug Aitken’s ‘cultural ambush.’ MOCA LA is truly The Artist’s Museum and we thank all of the artists who have contributed to the vitality and international reach of MOCA.”

“Many thanks to Doug Aitken for his extraordinary vision which brought together the worlds of art, design, Hollywood, and music in support of MOCA,” said MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch. “Doug is one of the most visionary artists working today and we thank him for the once-in-a-lifetime, collective experience, in which the sounds of iconic performers and the visual fabric of works by Los Angeles artists met to present Doug’s vision of the West.”

Other stars who came out for the night included Kristin Davis, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rebecca Gayheart-Dane and Eric Dane, Priscilla Presley, Rose McGowan, Mila Kunis, Rosanna Arquette, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Griffiths, Anthony Kiedis and many more.

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