Congratulations to the Met’s Joe Volpe, who has successfully postponed lame duck status by wangling $25 million — real money, not pledges, and relatively few strings attached — from socialite Mercedes Bass and her husband Sid R. Bass. Mrs. Bass, who looks simply smashing in the photo accompanying the New York Times piece, made tactful noises about the disgraced Alberto Vilar (“He made pledges across the world, and bad times hit him. I don’t think he did it intentionally”) and demurred prettily when asked if she expected any quid for her pro quo (“The important thing is not so much having one’s name on the Grand Tier, but to help the Met.”)

Before turning their attentions to the Met, the Basses were a celebrated Hollywood power couple. Mr. Bass, who made his fortune designing credit sequences for such films as Vertigo and Anatomy of a Murder, met Mrs. Bass when she was acting in All the King’s Men, a role for which she won the Academy Award.