Art Crowd Flocks to Pace’s Giant Gallery in Chelsea

The era of Chelsea mega-galleries has arrived.

Last Thursday night, Pace Gallery opened its giant new headquarters on West 25th Street, eight stories of galleries, art-filled offices, private terraces and party spaces that cost more than $100 million to build.

The opening party drew several hundred well-heeled collectors, museum directors, artists and other art world insiders, culminating in a performance by the Who on the gallery’s sixth-floor sculpture terrace.

“We have remained relevant for 60 years, and so have they,” Arne Glimcher, who founded the gallery in 1960, said about the choice of entertainment. He is passing the baton — without quite releasing his grip — to his son Marc Glimcher. “There isn’t that much that was cool in the ’60s and is still cool now, which is still going strong.”

Blending with the neighborhood’s corporate-riche style, the new building overlooks the High Line and offers views of greige luxury apartments to the south and Hudson Yards skyscrapers to the north. It will soon by joined by mega-galleries by David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth and Larry Gagosian.

Buffets of barbecued brisket, ham on the bone and oysters victualed the multitudes as they passed through exhibitions of work by Alexander Calder, Yto Barrada, Peter Hujar and David Hockney. Guests included Chuck Close, Claes Oldenburg and Kiki Smith — artists whom the gallery represents — as well as celebrities including Luke Wilson, Wes Anderson, Justin Bartha, Willem Dafoe and Maria Sharapova.

Adam Pendleton, a 35-year-old Pace artist, remarked to a friend that he was going home to watch the Democratic candidates’ debate. “You’re missing the Who?” she asked.

“The who?” he replied, laughing.

Downstairs, the smiling Glimchers were waiting by the door, greeting guests as they arrived in driving rain. “I don’t mind the weather,” Marc Glimcher said. “We’re hoping we get less than the thousand people who RSVP-ed.”

Asked what his role would be now that his son had more responsibility (and, in the new building, the larger office), Arne Glimcher didn’t miss a beat. “Same as always,” he said.

Dear Abbey

The old guard isn’t rolling over in “Downton Abbey,” either. Many of the show’s stars (and fans) were at Lincoln Center Monday night for the premiere of a film based on the television series about life in a British stately home.

First down the red carpet were Earl and Lady Carnarvon, owners of Highclere Castle, where the series and film were shot. Lord Carnarvon’s ancestor the fifth earl is famous for financing the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.

“We have some of the parts of my great-grandfather’s expedition still in the basement,” Lord Carnarvon said.

Is he worried about the curse that, according to legend, comes with the artifacts? “I think the curse has done quite well for us, actually,” he said.

Lesley Nicol, who plays Mrs. Patmore, the cook, said she was just now learning to cook herself.

“I’m beginning to take vegan cooking classes because I’m on the road to veganism, and my husband isn’t,” she said. “If I don’t learn, I’m not going to eat. So I’m having to learn to cook, finally.”

Also attending from the cast were Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Kevin Doyle, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton, as well as Julian Fellowes, the show’s creator. In the audience were Martha Stewart, Jonathan Pryce, Sandra Lee, Christine Baranski and Kathleen Turner.

After the screening, the party moved to the Plaza Hotel, where two harpists and a 14-piece orchestra greeted guests with the show’s theme song. Footmen in tails attended the candlelit lobby, serving caviar canapés and watercress finger sandwiches.

Representative Peter T. King of New York, and Rosemary, his wife, posed for pictures with Jim Carter, who plays the redoubtable butler. But who is the congressman’s favorite character?

“I’m a secret admirer of Branson,” he said, citing the character who supports Ireland’s independence from Britain. “I’m an Irish Republican myself.”

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