Among the publicity photos of notables bidding high and bidding often at the Aspen Art Museum's ArtCrush on Friday night was one of a beaming Lance Armstrong and Anna Hansen, his steady squeeze since 2008 and mother of two of his five children.
The two looked quite jolly amid the designer-clad crowd that included Houstonians Sue and Lester Smith and Dallas power couples Kelli and Allen Questrom, Nancy and Richard Rogers, Lisa and John Runyon and Gayle and Paul Stoffel.
In a town like Aspen, where celebrities try to make a splash, Armstrong has made every effort not to.
The ninth annual ArtCrush gala honored famed sculptor Teresita Fernández with the Aspen Award for Art and featured unexpected, over-the-top auction sales of works by Ellsworth Kelly, Rob Pruitt and Fernández. Prominent collectors, artists, gallerists and notables from around the country paid a minimum $1,000 for the dinner auction.
Typically maneuvering beneath the Aspen social radar, Armstrong has maintained a home in the posh millionaire playground for several years and serves on the Aspen Art Museum board of directors.
As Jeremy Bernstein wrote last summer in his blog for the New York Review of Books, "In a town like Aspen, where celebrities try to make a splash, Armstrong has made every effort not to. He takes his daughters hiking, and takes part in local races, which he generally wins.
"Some of these races involve a hundred miles at very high altitude. He has in every way been a good citizen of our town."