Friday, Jun 29, 2018 - 12:24 pm
The Museum’s most significant fundraiser of the year will be held at the home of Iris and Matthew Strauss

San Diego, CA—TheMuseum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will host its 42nd annual Monte Carlo gala, themed “An Art Affair,” from 6:30 to 11:30 PM on Saturday, September 8, 2018. The event will be held at the private Rancho Santa Fe home of devoted arts patrons and ARTnews Top 200 Art Collectors, Iris and Matthew Strauss. The couple’s 21,000 square-foot estate, Rancho del Arte, is filled with hundreds of works by internationally recognized artists from the 1980s to the present. Gala attendees will have the opportunity to take curator-led tours of the collection during the event.

Iris Strauss, Joan Jacobs, and Karen Cohn will serve as co-chairs for Monte Carlo: An Art Affair. The trio of long-time MCASD supporters are leading a committee of 36 community philanthropists, including several MCASD Trustees, who will help execute this exciting evening.

“There are so many passionate people in our community who care deeply about the Museum of Contemporary Art,” said Iris Strauss, who supports a variety of arts, educational, and cultural institutions throughout San Diego, and serves on the Board of the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego. “We want to harness their energy and make this event truly the best it has ever been.”

With a nod to the very early days of the Museum’s Monte Carlo fundraiser, guests will don black-tie finery for an over-the-top glamorous féte that will include fine dining, live entertainment, charity gambling, and dancing under the stars. Many artists whose work is included in the Museum’s permanent collection will be in attendance at the event.

“Infusing art into every aspect of the event is a very important element to us,” said Karen Cohn, who has served on MCASD’s Board of Trustees since 2014, and attended Monte Carlo as far back as the early 90s. “Contemporary art is the reason we’re all here, so why shouldn’t it be center stage?”

The evening will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:30 PM followed by an al fresco dinner at 8 PM. Guests will enter through the Strauss’ art-filled gallery as they make their way to the outdoor dining room, where a large LED wall will display video art from the Museum’s permanent collection as guests enjoy dinner.

All funds raised at the event will provide vital support for MCASD's ambitious exhibition schedule and education programs. This year is critically important for MCASD as it embarks upon a transformational expansion of its flagship La Jolla campus. The multi-year project, which will quadruple gallery space from 10,000 to 40,000 square feet, will allow MCASD to continually show works from its outstanding permanent collection in addition to temporary exhibitions. Many exciting public amenities are planned including two levels of light-filled galleries, a public park, several ocean-view patios and terraces on different levels, a new book store, and much more.

Strauss, Cohn, and Jacobs have all been strong supporters of the Capital Campaign, and the Museum is grateful for their continued support.

“The Museum is preparing to become an even greater asset to the San Diego community,” said Joan Jacobs, who has supported the Capital Campaign, along with her husband Irwin Jacobs, from its inception. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to support the Museum as it enters this new era.”

Monte Carlo sponsors include Van Cleef & Arpels, South Coast Plaza, and Oscar de la Renta. Modern Luxury Magazine is the exclusive media partner for Monte Carlo: An Art Affair. Tickets for the gala may be purchased for $1500 to $2500 per person at 

For interviews and high-resolution images, please contact Communications & Marketing Manager Leah Straub.  For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, please visit


Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum’s collection includes more than 4,700 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Kathryn Kanjo is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD.

Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

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