News & Events

The Decades Ball: What Is History?

calendar iconMonday, April 4, 2022

The Decades Ball 2022

Monday, April 4, 2022
The Rubin Museum of Art
150 West 17th Street
New York City



Hilary Mantel
Recipient of the 2022 Janus Prize



Hilaria and Alec Baldwin

Lisa and Christopher Lloyd

Deborah and Bill Ryan



Simon Winchester


6:30 pm: Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
7:30 pm: Dinner with performances

Festive Dress


An epic exploration of the past, from the ancient world to the present day, featuring performances by celebrated actors. The evening benefits the educational mission of Lapham’s Quarterly and provides the core support necessary to carry on the work of the magazine.



Actor Bob Balaban (A Mighty Wind, The French Dispatch) reads Voltaire, from Encyclopédie, and Jacob Burckhardt, from Judgments on History and Historians


Actor and singer-songwriter Reeve Carney (Penny Dreadful, Hadestown) reads Dorothy Thompson, from “Who Goes Nazi?”


Actor Richard Kind (A Serious Man, Curb Your Enthusiasm) reads Aristotle, from Poetics; Du Fu, “Jade-Blossom Palace”; and Finley Peter Dunne, from Observations by Mr. Dooley


Actor Morgan Spector (The Gilded Age, The Plot Against America) reads Will and Ariel Durant, from The Lessons of History


Actress Rebecca Hall (Parade’s End, writer and director of Passing) reads W.H. Auden, “Musée des Beaux Arts”


Actor and director Reggie D. White (The Inheritance) reads W.E.B. Du Bois, from Black Reconstruction in America


Alec Baldwin and Christopher Lloyd read Richard Nixon and John Ehrlichman, from White House Tape #498-005


Exhibits at the Rubin Museum, including the shows Gateway to Himalayan Art and Masterworks: A Journey Through Himalayan Art, will be open for viewing during the cocktail hour.


To purchase tickets, please click here, email, or call the Decades Ball office at (212) 590-6875.


We are pleased to offer free virtual access to the Decades Ball. Click here to receive access to the livestream and a link to watch the event at your convenience. You can also become a supporter at the $50, $300, or $1,000 levels and receive special gifts from Lapham’s Quarterly and our sponsors.



Mary Stewart Hammond Allen

Melissa Ballate

Tracy Bollag

Kathy Robbins and Richard Cohen

Jessica Hairston and Andrew M. Davenport

Jackie and Nick Drexel

Ed Epstein

Barbara Fleischman

Francis M. Flynn

Agnes Gund

Judith Gurewich

Lucy Hamilton

The Hendra Family

Linda Karshan

 Lisa Atkin and Tony Kiser

Carmella R. Kletjian

Shelley Ambrose and Douglas Knight

Jennifer and Winston Lapham

Monica and Raymond A. Lamontagne

Rachel Lenrow

Win McCormack

Stacey Hadash and Terry McDonell

Diahn and Tom McGrath

Kim Miller

Alan Patricof

John Postley

Diana Prince

Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince

Donna and Benjamin A. Rosen

May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.

Sarah and David R. Stack

Maggie and Amor Towles

Christie and Ron Ulrich

Dr. Samuel Waksal

Brian and Jane Williams

Simon and Setsuko Winchester



Nguyen Coffee Supply

Margerum Wine Company


Tea Drunk


The Decades Ball is the annual gala event presented by Lapham’s Quarterly, bringing together friends and readers of the magazine, celebrated writers and performers, and devoted patrons. Guests are treated to performances of timeless readings and songs, a menu inspired by sumptuous feasts throughout history, and rousing company the New York Times compared to “dedicated revelers at a Gatsby party.” This “stirring night” (Wall Street Journal) has in the past featured performances by F. Murray Abraham, Patricia Clarkson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Tom Hanks, Anne Hathaway, Kevin Kline, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Mary-Louise Parker.


For directions to the Rubin and information about the museum’s Covid safety protocols, please visit this page. You must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the Rubin, but masks are not required at the event. Should a public health advisory from state or local officials necessitate canceling the Decades Ball, the event will move fully online.