Finnish Envoy to Open ‘Gifts’ at Museum

Finnish Ambassador Jukka Valtasaari and his wife Etel are expected for the Natural History Museum gala Thursday, says Craig Black, museum director.

The purpose is to open “Gifts From the Great Land: Alaskan Artifacts From the National Museum of Finland,” made possible by a $100,000 grant from Arco. It’s open to the public Saturday through April 7.

VALENTINO: A few Angelenos expect to be in Rome for Valentino Garavani’s 30-year retrospective opening March 7. The couturier looked svelte, but a little anxious, at the recent crush at the opening of his new Valentino Boutique at 250 N. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

He was more relaxed at the celebratory dinner for 60 later at L’Orangerie. Some of the city’s best-dressed ladies--Betty Wilson, Betsy Bloomingdale (Garavani’s dinner partner), Harriet Deutsch, Barbara Davis and Joanna Poitier--hovered around him.


Wendy and Leonard Goldberg revealed they expect to be in Rome for the retrospective, which later travels to Florence, Berlin, Paris, New York, then Los Angeles.

Valentino chairman Giancarlo Gianmetti sat next to Italian actress Ornella Muti (she’s in Sylvester Stallone’s new film, “Oscar”) and photographed Michelle Phillips. Valentino vice president Luciano Villarini of New York called Los Angeles “the most important city in the United States today.” Why? “The atmosphere, wealth, climate, the concept of homes with gardens.”

UPSMANSHIP: First, invites to the Diadames (ladies’ gourmet society) “Salute the Renaissance of Italian Cuisine” came with silk gold tassels tied around Lorenza de Medici’s book, “The Renaissance of Italian Cooking.”

Then Barbara Knight, Coco Viault, Margaret Spillane, Kay McKay and Diane Skouras moved elegantly ahead. The result was perfection with five-star cuisine--angel hair pasta, pheasant consomme, lobster, grape sorbet, roast veal, baked fennel, chocolate parfait with chestnut sauce. Hanging grape clusters added luster.


MOCA ON TOUR: In the holiday rush, 275 boarded buses and vans to see contemporary art at the homes of Leonore and Bernard Greenberg, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, Marcia and Richard Schulman and Annette and Leonard Shapiro.

It was MOCA on Tour, and $40,000 was raised by the Projects Council. Later, over lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel, participants viewed Fred Hayman’s fashions. Involved: Mandy Einstein, Darleen Norris, Aviva Covitz, Joan and Fred Nicholas, Donnie Smith, Pearl and Joan Bornstein, Bea and Susan Gersh, Joan Burns, Peggy Phelps and Betye Burton.

THE SPINSTERS: Newest members got a command bid for the Spinsters’ annual black-tie Christmas Dansant at the Bel Age Hotel. They are Annie Baxter, Paige Bierly, Vicki Cunningham, Shelly Dickerson, Susan Facey, Carol Faris, Debbie Gauthier, Cynthia Janes, Carolyn Johnson, Carol Lewis, Mary Massie, Tina Niblo, Pam Nickerson, Cheryl Parnell, Birgit Reisch, Barbie Schnieders, Carolyn Spears and Cindy Varga.

VITALITY: There was Dinah Shore, making Tecate bread and thin brownies at the Beach Club for 100 members of Children’s Chain of Childrens Hospital. Much to the delight of Cheryl Baker, Raylene Meyer, Brooke Young and Louise Korshak, she also donated 200 of her new cookbooks, “The Day With Dinah” for charity.


DEFENSE: Too many friends had been crime victims, so Jenny Jones told the CHIPS (Colleagues Helpers in Philanthropic Service) and their spouses to come casual to the Beach Club and learn about self-defense.

After sandwiches and pasta, well-padded “bad guys” were lined up, and the audience experienced mock encounters. After it was all over, a group including Debbie and Terry Lanni, John and Cynthia Hall and Susy Niven looked a little rumpled.

CO-ED: As they have since 1923, students at Boys Republic in Chino are assembling for sale those aromatic Della Robbia Christmas wreaths from sacks of pine cones, greenery and barrels of fresh apples.

This year, however, a 17-year-old girl, the first placement at Girls Republic, a satellite residential treatment center recently developed in Monrovia, stepped up to make the assembly line co-ed.


PAST PERFECT: On their first benefit, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, the Associates for Breast Cancer Studies (the ABCs) are boasting 530 guests and a $120,000 net. Buddy Rogers was honored as “Mr. Hollywood” and responded by playing “When the Saints Come Marching In” on his trombone. Fred and Suzi Wehba underwrote the benefit and received the “Spirit of Hope” award. Monty Hall, Ruta Lee and Norm Crosby and the Fifth Dimension created more magic for the minds of chairman Martin Roth and helpers Hal and Cynthia Gershman and Jack Lerman . . . .

The Bistro Garden was sparkling with Christmas spirit for Les Amies’ party for Children’s Institute International. Margo Hirsh, Rita Cruikshank and Ruth Clayburgh get the lion’s share of credit . . . .

More than 450 came in good cheer for the “Voices of Christmas” soiree, raising more than $80,000 for Saint John’s Hospital and Health Center’s Heart Institute. Joining the Anita Kerr Singers and Les Brown and His Band of Renown at the Regent Beverly Wilshire were Rosemarie Stack, Howard Keel, John and Rosemary Raitt, Nadine Watt and Father Maurice Chase.