Out of Arkansas: high society | Arkansas Blog

Out of Arkansas: high society


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ARKANSAS FLAIR: Arkansas native Bronson Van Wyck staged this Oscar night party for Mercedes-Benz
  • ARKANSAS FLAIR: Arkansas native Bronson Van Wyck staged this Oscar night party for Mercedes-Benz

I'm a few days late on this, but for a slow Sunday I thought some might be interested in a huge New York Times feature on the A-list party planner of the moment in New York City. He's Bronson Van Wyck — from Tuckerman, Ark. A taste:

It doesn’t hurt that Mr. Van Wyck displays a natural ease in mingling with people of extreme wealth who prefer not to shout about it. After all, he is a Van Wyck, a family that settled in New York in the 1660s, when it was still New Amsterdam. He is a descendant of Robert Anderson Van Wyck, who became the first mayor of the newly unified New York after the consolidation of the five boroughs in 1898. (And, yes, the Van Wyck Expressway, which links Kennedy Airport with Brooklyn and Queens, is named after him.)

There’s not much in his carriage that suggests that Bronson Van Wyck grew up on a farm in Tuckerman, Ark. The farm, however, had been in his mother’s family for generations. His parents settled there after his father finished Harvard Business School, and his father approached agriculture in the Mississippi Delta with entrepreneurial zeal, he said. It was not a small farm, but don’t ask how many acres. “That’s one of those questions like, ‘How much did money did you make last year?’ ” he said. From there, he continued through Groton and Yale.

As his pedigree might suggest, Mr. Van Wyck could have stepped out of a Whit Stillman movie fully hatched. Each sentence seems to be sprung from coy diffidence and measured irony. Fittingly, his crew members are outfitted in T-shirts with the British wartime slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

On-line, the Times also provides a slide show of his work. He's been chosen the event designer of the year by an industry journal. (Yes, parties are an industry in NYC.) His firm's website, in which his mother and sister are also involved, is right here if you need somebody to put on a catfish fry or barn dance or something.


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