Champion of Cultural Heritage Preservation, Arts Advocate, and Napa Vintner to Receive the Hadrian Award, with Christian Louboutin and Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, for her Contribution to Preserving and Protecting the World’s Shared Cultural Heritage
(Rutherford, Calif. – October 24, 2022) – The World Monuments Fund (WMF) — the leading independent organization devoted to safeguarding the world’s most treasured places — will honor cultural patron and Bella Oaks vintner Suzanne Deal Booth for her three-decade career in heritage preservation. Deal Booth will receive the Hadrian Award alongside internationally renowned designer Christian Louboutin and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and President of the Mellon Foundation Dr. Elizabeth Alexander at the 33rd annual Hadrian Gala, taking place at the iconic Rainbow Room in New York City on Monday, October 24.
“The Hadrian Gala honors champions of conservation for their passionate commitment and extraordinary contributions to preserving and protecting the world’s shared cultural heritage,” said Benedicte de Montlaur, President and CEO, World Monuments Fund. “This year, we are thrilled to honor three extraordinary leaders with a shared passion for cultural heritage and the impact that steadfast leadership can have on cultural heritage sites and their communities around the world.”
Deal Booth has long been dedicated to the arts and the preservation of cultural heritage, working with several renowned institutions including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Kimbell Art Museum, The Menil Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Trust.
Notably, Deal Booth founded the Friends of Heritage Preservation (FoHP) in 1998, a private charitable group dedicated to protecting and preserving cultural and artistic heritage. The organization has fostered more than 80 preservation and conservation projects in 18 countries on five continents, including the preservation of Donald Judd’s concrete sculptures in Marfa, TX, as well as an architectural retrofit of a Napoleonic-era coffee house on the Grand Canal in Venice. FoHP also addresses intangible cultural heritage through efforts including a stone carving training program in Jordan for Syrian refugees and the documentation of the civil rights movement by the last of its participants in an oral history project in Alabama with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
In 2003, Deal Booth and her family established the Booth Family Rome Prize Fellowship for Historic Preservation and Conservation. She also created the Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize (now expanded and renamed the Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize) in 2016 with The Contemporary Austin, which is a biennial, unrestricted award of $200,000 to be awarded to an artist selected every two years, in the anticipation that it will be a transformative gift. Past recipients include Rodney McMillian, Nicole Eisenman and Tarek Atoui, and Lubaina Himid is the current awardee (2024).
These experiences led Deal Booth to her current role as steward of the legendary Bella Oaks estate, which she acquired in 2010. The vineyard is known for producing one of Napa Valley’s earliest and most iconic examples of single-vineyard Cabernet: Heitz Cellars Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon.
In Bella Oaks, Deal Booth has worked to preserve, reimagine, and invigorate the estate, shepherding the past carefully into the future. Driven by a holistic vision to bring the land to its highest potential, she recruited top talent to revitalize the vineyard and oversee the winemaking: Vineyard Manager David Abreu, Winemaker Nigel Kinsman, and Master Blender Michel Rolland. She made sustainability a priority, converting the vineyard to certified organic farming and employing biodynamic practices throughout the estate.
Under Deal Booth’s stewardship, Bella Oaks continues to exemplify the pinnacle of Napa Valley culture and its continued hospitality. She has curated a vibrant and diverse collection of art at the estate, which is immersed in the property’s natural beauty — spectacular gardens, olive orchards and vines — and a meditation labyrinth. Among the outdoor works are Yayoi Kusama’s Where the Lights in My Heart Go, Max Ernst’s Le Genie de La Bastille, and an untitled site-specific work by Robert Irwin.