The Iris Foundation Awards were created in 1997 to recognize scholars, patrons, and professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the study and appreciation of the decorative arts and thereby help to sustain the cultural heritage of our world.


John C. Waddell
Dr. Aileen Ribeiro
Dr. Jason Sun
Benoist F. Drut

Proceeds benefit the Bard Graduate Center Scholarship Fund.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Noon to 2:30pm
Colony Club
564 Park Avenue
New York City

Individual Tickets

$1,000 Patron Ticket
$600 Supporter Ticket
$400 Donor Ticket

Please note that the non-tax deductible portion of each ticket is $150.

Tickets must be purchased in advance, will be held at the door, and regret that no refunds will be given.

To make a contribution or for further information, please contact the Development Office at 212.501.3058 or

Tables of 10

$25,000 Champion Table
$10,000 Benefactor Table
$4,000 Patron Table

Please note that the non-tax deductible portion of each table is $1500.

If you are interested in purchasing a table of 10 seats, please contact Patricia Ann Neely at 212.501.3058.

About the Iris 2018 Honorees

John C. Waddell — Outstanding Patron

For the past forty years, John C. Waddell has formed collections exploring the advent of modernism. In 1989 his collection of early modernist photographs was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and exhibited as The New Vision: Photography Between the World Wars. His first collection of modern design and decorative arts, donated to the Met in 2000, was exhibited as American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age. In 2011, he donated a second design collection, focusing on the earliest examples of American modern design and decorative arts, to the Yale University Art Gallery. It is featured in Yale’s catalogue A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920 –1950. Waddell resides in New York City.

Dr. Aileen Ribeiro — Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship

Dr. Aileen Ribeiro is specialist in fashion and costume history who has shared her knowledge in lecture appearances throughout Great Britain, Europe, and North America. She holds a degree in history from King’s College, an MA and PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and has been on the faculty of the Courtauld as well as the University of London. Ribeiro has published many books and articles the most recent include: A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery (2015), and Clothing Art: The Visual Culture of Fashion 1600–1914 (2017); and recent essays on dress in the work of Liotard in Jean-Etienne Liotard (National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Academy of Arts 2015), and on clothing in Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party (Phillips Collection, Washington 2017).

Dr. Jason Sun — Outstanding Mid-Career Scholar

Jason Sun is the Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art in the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He received his PhD in Chinese Art and Archaeology from Princeton University and was the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of East Asian Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art before joining the Metropolitan in 1999. Dr. Sun has curated The Bishop Jades, Excellence and Elegance: Decorative Art of the Eighteenth Century Qing Court, Small Delight: Chinese Snuff Bottles, Colors of the Universe: Chinese Hardstone Carvings, and the 2017 landmark exhibition Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220). He worked with James Watt, former chairman of the Asian Art Department, on two seminal exhibitions: China: Dawn of a Golden Age, and The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty. Sun has lectured and published widely on a variety of subjects including Chinese jade carving, metalwork, calligraphy, archaeology, and museum studies.

Benoist F. Drut — Outstanding Dealer

Benoist F. Drut developed an interest in collecting early on in his native France. At fifteen, he met acclaimed dealer Thierry Millerand who advised him on how to become a successful dealer. After finishing his law degree in Paris, Drut moved to New York, taking a job with eighteenth-century furniture collector, Roger Prigent. A chance meeting with Gerard Widdershoven brought him to Maison Gerard where he became his business partner. Today, Drut, as sole owner, continues to preserve the welcoming character Widdershoven fostered in the seventies, “the gallery is not merely a place for design, but a place where design lives; not only where the old and new coexist seamlessly, but where it is easy to feel at home amongst the beauty of both.”

2018 Iris Award Sponsors

Ms. Ann Pyne, McMillen Inc.
Ms. Barbara Nessim
Mrs. Ellen N. Taubman
Ms. Dee Dee Wigmore

Become a sponsor; Call Patricia Ann Neely at 212.501.3058