Live Auction

2021 Live Auction Items

Please find a few of the amazing items and experiences that will be auctioned off during the Friends of IHES Gala: Women in Fundamental Research. All funds raised will be used to support the IHES and to improve and foster a better representation of women at the Institute.  

This year, Friends of IHES is opening our auction to all our supporters, worldwide. If you are interested in bidding on one of these incredible items and you cannot attend the gala in-person, please email for more information and to place your bid in advance.

@Jessica Wynne, image courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery 

Framed Photograph of Laura Balzano’s Chalkboard by Jessica Wynne 

Jessica Wynne is an American photographer whose newest body of work, Do Not Erase, features a series of photographs of mathematicians’ chalkboards, and the formulas scrawled and erased upon them. Inspired by the notes that mathematicians often leave on their blackboards, this series illuminates the power of shapes, numbers, and calculations scribbled down in the heat of discovery. Mathematicians whose blackboards were photographed as a part of this series include Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Amie Wilkinson, Misha Gromov, and Helene Esnault among others. Jessica’s work has appeared in The New York Times and National Geographic, among other publications. Her prints are a part of the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Morgan Library in New York City. Jessica’s inaugural solo exhibition is taking place at Edwynn Houk Gallery in September 2021.  The photograph will be a framed print of Laura Balzano‘s chalkboard.

An Experience at Schiaparelli’s Atelier, Place Vendôme 

With her unique imagination, revolutionary approach to Sportswear, Haute Couture, Art, Fragrances, and her specific ability to turn ordinary items into elaborate creations, Elsa Schiaparelli brought the most creative spirit to 20th Century fashion. Elsa’s iconic collaborations with artists such as Dali, Cocteau, Bérard, Man Ray and Giacometti, became legendary and remain key creative references for fashion designers and artists alike. 

Today, at 21 Place Vendôme, the new breath of a bold and avant-garde creative vision combined with the virtuosity of its “petites mains” allows the Maison to continue its legacy of Haute Couture craftsmanship through sumptuous and modern collections, blending exceptional artistry with elegance. The luxurious Haute Couture outfit adorned with a gilded dove brooch worn by Lady Gaga, when she performed at U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, testifies of the rich creative universe of utterly chic designs of Maison Schiaparelli

This Schiaparelli package will include: 

  • Two seats at the exclusive, invitation-only Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fashion Show   
  • A tour of the Schiaparelli Atelier with Francesco Pastore, Art Historian and Expert in Schiaparelli Heritage, for up to 8 guests   
  • A dinner at Place Vendôme with Delphine Bellini, CEO of Schiaparelli and Martine Liautaud Founder and President of the Women Initiative Foundation, for up to 8 guests.  
  • A gift box containing a unique Schiaparelli accessory 

Restrictions: Schiaparelli has two Haute Couture shows each year in Paris, France. The highest bidder may choose to attend in either July 2022 or January 2023 (exact dates to be confirmed at least 2 months in advance with Schiaparelli’s staff)

Behind-the-Scenes Private Experience on The Mayflower Autonomous Ship

Be among the first to explore a fully autonomous, crewless ship capable of independently traversing oceans. Drawing upon a pioneering spirit, the marine research organization ProMare has championed the bold imagining and creation of a vessel of discovery for the 21st century, powered by AI – the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS). The groundbreaking development center and ship itself are closed to the public, but you and up to 5 guest(s) are invited to step behind the curtain. Your private tour, led by innovative shipbuilders with expertise in robotics and underwater systems, will commence dockside in the MAS home port of Plymouth, England. Here your group will be:

  • Given a rare look inside the hull with the MAS engineering team to understand how the “AI Captain” fuses data to sense, think, and make decisions at sea – even with no network connectivity.
  • Introduced to the unique capabilities of MAS as a flexible, cost-effective platform for scientific and oceanic data collection, advancing our understanding of critical marine conservation and climate challenges while transforming ocean-related industries like shipping, telecommunications, oil & gas exploration, and more.
  • Presented with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join MAS on a trial run – and, depending upon weather conditions, you will be able to “pilot” the ship.

After returning to port, the AI and ship design teams will host a luncheon at which you will learn more about planned future voyages of MAS. The conversation will carry over during a private tour of the MSubs facility where MAS was built, giving you the opportunity to learn how people across three continents continue to collaborate to break barriers in oceanographic research.

Restrictions: The Mayflower Autonomous Ship will be in Plymouth U.K. until April 2022 at which point it will set sail on its overseas voyage. Should you wish to tour the Mayflower at one of its U.S. ports, that can also be arranged, however bidders will then not be able to tour the facility or drive the ship.


For more information, please email