On Saturday night, some 770 guests gathered at the Field Museum for its “Gold” gala, hosted by the institution’s women’s board. Held in conjunction with the opening of an exhibition devoted to the precious material, the event’s theme influenced everything from its lighting scheme to its parting gift of golden apples and caramel-filled chocolate.

Inspiration for the evening came from a not-unlikely source: a book about gold. “Our co-chairs, Sandra Deromedi and Kathleen Klaeser, loved a photo of gold coins against a rich black background [from the book], and it inspired the decor,” said women’s board manager Trish Farrell.

Kehoe Designs “created a contemporary look for us, with strong graphics and organic shapes such as amber glass leaves, teardrop-shaped hanging vases, and golden nuggets scattered on the tabletops,” Farrell said. But designer Tom Kehoe also referenced the past.

By pairing the contemporary decor with “iconic cultural pieces,” such as Buddha statues and carved chairs meant to resemble the furnishings in King Tut’s tomb, “the design not only celebrated the ‘Gold’ exhibition, but also captured the essence of the Field Museum’s mission: exploring the earth and its people,” Farrell said.

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