THE BLOG
10/25/2013 06:15 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Windy City Happening: Art Institute of Chicago Masked Ball (PHOTOS)

Surrealist artist Rene Magritte's paintings came to life in Chicago as the The Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrated its 40th anniversary with its Nothing Is As It Appears masked ball.

Holding the distinction of being the oldest arts auxiliary board in the country since its inception in 1973, this group of 60 energetic philanthropic individuals has supported curatorial departments and exhibitions. Among the board's proudest achievements is the commission of Marc Chagall's beloved America Windows in 1977. In 2010, the board underwrote the extensive restoration work needed before the windows could be installed in a new gallery dedicated to the legacy of public art in Chicago. Since 2005, the Auxiliary Board has raised over $1 million to support the museum and special exhibitions.

In honor of this momentous anniversary, the Auxiliary Board (co-chaired by Toni Canada, Roxy Goebel, Jade Newburn, Matt Pettinelli and Steve Somogyi) matched up to $100,000 of all funds raised as a special anniversary gift to the Art Institute of Chicago in connection with the exhibition, Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary 1926-1938, coming in June 2014.

The gala's Nothing Is As It Appears theme was inspired by Magritte which featured live performers dressed as some of his most iconic subjects -- The Son of Man, The False Mirror and The Lovers. Cloud-patterned umbrellas, bowler hats and apples decked out the performers from Collaboraction Theatre Company who provided acrobatic and whimsical, surreal entertainment during the cocktail hour. Live music was provided by classical violinist Katarina Visnevska and DJ Madrid before guests were ushered into the Modern Wing's Griffin Court for a three-course dinner.

The highlight of the evening included the surprise giveaway of a $20,000 bracelet from event sponsor Buccellati and a live auction with exclusive trip packages to Los Angeles, New York and Mexico.

The after party, hosted in the museum's Terzo Piano, allowed guests to let their hair down and dance the night away in their finery to more tunes spun by DJ Madrid.

Check out the amazing décor and best dressed in the gallery below!

Art Institute of Chicago Masked Ball - Nothing is As It Appears