Artful Party Celebrates Doumani Gift

Times Staff Writer

While Roy and Carol Doumani formally bequeathed their contemporary Venice home to UCLA at a party for artists and friends, the ocean breezes blew through the huge living room window as Dr. Franklin Murphy compared the Doumanis to Renaissance patrons of the arts.

The Doumanis’ two tri-colored Salukis--Zsazoo and Saheb--sat on cushions without prompting during the presentation of the gift. It must have been a special moment for artist/architect Robert Graham, who worked with the Doumanis for two years building the white stucco and steel house.

Commented Carol of the house, “I still feel this is a child growing up. . . .” Interceded Laura Charles, ". . . and going off to college.”

In accepting, UCLA Chancellor Charles Young, attending with his wife, Sue, noted that the Doumanis’ gift includes the art in the house as well as an endowment for the house’s care.


The Doumanis may continue to live in the house for their lifetimes, but in giving it now, they hope to encourage others to consider architecturally significant homes for perpetuity, much as the Gamble House in Pasadena, a Greene & Greene-designed house, has been preserved as a gift to USC.

Artists at the party were in for adulation: DeWain Valentine, there with wife Jina, designed the four-piece glass coffee table in the living room. Tom Holland and his wife Judy came down from Berkeley; he built the enamel-painted wood and metal guest bedroom furniture. Larry Bell, designer of the burled wood sideboard, came from Taos, N. M. Billy Al Bengston was getting compliments on the inlaid cabinets in the kitchen and the entry pool, David Novros on the stained glass at the entrance, and Tony Berlant on the metal collage doors.

The home is also filled with about 50 Robert Graham sculptures--all of which are part of the bequeathal.

Partying around it all and dining on a mosaic array catered by Gai Klass, was a collage of art lovers--Dee and Dick Sherwood, Nathan and Marion Smooke, Marcia Weisman, Yvonne Lenart. Beverly and Larry Thrall, good friends who came down to the beach regularly to watch the construction, joined Carol’s parents, Doris and Constantine Gertmenian of South Pasadena and Roy’s mother Lillian Doumani of Hancock Park.


INAUGURAL: To celebrate the 15th Anniversary Leader Luncheon, the YWCA of Los Angeles is inaugurating the “Academy of Silver Achievers.” It will salute the 115 women who have received the YWCA’s Silver Achievement Award and the four who have captured the prestigious Athena Award.

The 119 notables will be inducted into the new Academy of Silver Achievers late this afternoon at the Doheny Mansion. It’s the kickoff event for the Leader Luncheon on April 27 at the Westin Bonaventure at which Harriet M. Luckman will receive the Athena and seven others will be awarded Silver Achievements.

COMMENT: When designer David Hayes presented his fashions for the show following Las Candelas’ luncheon for 900 at the Beverly Hilton, he got quite a lot of applause when he said, “I think it is repulsive that women should spend $10,000 on a dress with poverty such as it is--don’t you?”

Many in the audience were from Glendale. Said Las Candelas president Marilyn Butler, “We’re a little group, but mighty.” She praised the workers--Mickey Orfila, Sally Perkins, Sharon Gregg, Diane Johnson, Judy Ruzicka.

It’s also a thrifty organization: Las Candelas has used the same candelabra for its centerpieces for 30 years, repainting them when necessary. Las Candelas means the candles and symbolizes the group’s efforts to light the way for children at Camarillo State Hospital, the Bernice Carlson School and at the psychiatric unit at County/USC Medical Center.

RED LETTER DATES: About 800 leading UCLA friends kick off the UCLA Athletics Campaign for $25 million Saturday at a black-tie affair at John Wooden Center on campus . . .

Archbishop Roger Mahony is honorary chairman for the Angel’s Flight Dinner Committee black-tie evening Friday at the Beverly Wilshire, raising funds for Catholic charities . . .

Piano soloist Misha Dichter and conductor Mehli Mehta will join guests for the gala after the American Youth Symphony Affiliates annual benefit concert Sunday evening at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center. Affiliates president Gloria Godell is at the helm with Dorothy Shrier, Marion Golenternek and Gertrude Wellington.


ON THE TOWN: “A French Affair” is supposed to have a French flavor when Hermes and The Junior Society of the Los Angeles Master Chorale join at Hermes at 343 N. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills this evening for cocktails . . .

Margaret Given and Clare Webb co-chair the Junior Mannequin Assisteens Laura Ashley carrousel of fashions from Bullock’s Westwood Saturday at the Wilshire Country Club.