Thursday, May 20, 2010

Richmond, Houston, and L.A. Social Diary

Indian Sitar players in Pavilion/South Asian Gallery
It was foretold after the Civil War that The South would rise again and indeed several hundred of Virginia’s most philanthropic socialites seemed to fulfill that promise on Friday, April 23, when the august Virginia Museum of Fine Arts hosted a lavish soiree to celebrate the opening of the enormous $150 million James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing.

"Actually we have raised about $200 million for both this architectural project and endowments," Board President Pamela Reynolds proudly disclosed during a private luncheon prior to the black-tie gala that evening, as bulldozers rearranged the sculpture garden landscape beyond the lily ponds just outside the towering windows, all sleekly designed by modernist London architect Rick Mather.
An extension to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts by London architect Rick Mather.
Cocktails on the museum terrace
It was in the depths of the Great Depression that the original VMFA opened in 1936, on the site of a Confederate soldiers' retirement park (which also has a replica of The White House, a home for Confederate Ladies, still standing on the spacious campus), as a Federal WPA building planned to house a 1919 donation by Judge John Barton Payne of 50 paintings to form the nation's first state art museum. Billionaire art collector Paul Mellon and his sister Ailsa Mellon Bruce soon added their incomparable financial support, and the collections steadily grew to world class stature, as with the Lillian Thomas Pratt bequest of Fabergé eggs and jewels in 1947, and the rococo and neo-classical English silver of New Yorkers Jerome and Rita Gans in 1996.

Many New Yorkers will, in fact, meet up with an old friend when perusing the new American galleries. Here in pride of place is the Worsham-Rockefeller Room, which was installed for many years in the Museum of the City of New York, which recently, and very generously, donated the room to the Virginia Museum. The bedroom is from the posh 1880s New York City home of native Richmonder Arabella Yarrington Worsham Huntington. (She later sold the house to John D. Rockefeller Sr., who left the interiors largely intact.)
Among the honored guests were five governors of Virginia (from left): Linwood Holton, Tim Kaine, Governor Bob McDonnell, James Gilmore, Douglas Wilder, VMFA President Pamela Reynolds, VMFA Director Alex Nyerges. Mark Warner also attended but unavailable for the photograph.
"Now we can claim to be among the top ten art museums in America," the stately museum's director Alex Lee Nyerges confidently announced during a tour of the galleries, encompassing European and American paintings, sculpture, and furniture, huge baroque tapestries, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine antiquities, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian masterworks, Pre-Columbian and Native American treasures, the extraordinary Art Nouveau and Art Deco and mid to late 20th-century art collections of Richmonders Sydney and Frances Lewis, who founded the Best Products Company, as well as the renowned Ludwig and Rosy Fischer collection of German Expressionism, among many other divisions and departments.
Tom Farrell during standing ovation for McGlothlins
Pamela Reynolds, whose husband is Richard S. "Major" Reynolds, of the eponymous aluminum dynasty, is the Old Dominion's most flamboyant and effervescent hostess, and she informed this correspondent that her extravagant gown for the ball, made by artist Melody Gulick was her own creation, "made entirely of paper and inspired by the fantastic dresses of Alexander McQueen and Christian Lacroix," as you can see in the photo of her.

Joining her were no less than six Virginia governors, including the current boss, Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, and past bosses Tim Kaine and his wife Anne, James Gilmore and his wife Roxane, Douglas Wilder, Mark Warner (now US Senator) and Linwood Holton, who posed together for an unprecedented gubernatorial portrait in the vast Harwood and Louise Cochrane atrium, while musicians serenaded the revelers and Cirque du Soleil-style acrobats performed high above.
The glass and limestone-clad extension centres around an atrium with five bridges connecting the five levels of the building.
Among the glamorous guests were Jim and Fran McGlothin, in whose honor the new wing is named, Roland Celette, Cultural Attaché Embassy of France, Louise and Harwood Cochrane, Sybil and Charles Thalhimer, Marty Barrington (of Altria Group, which owns Philip Morris, and which underwrote the party along with the Dominion Resources, Richard S. Reynolds Foundation, and SunTrust) Charlotte and Gil Minor, Freddy and Lawrence Gray, Hobie and Catherine Claiborne III, Janie Armfield, Dorothy and Stan Pauley, Elizabeth Locke and John Staelin, Stewart and Lissy Bryan (whose Media General is a major Southeast communications company and was founded by his great grandfather), Jenny and Andy Lewis Selina and Gordon Rainey, Cynthia and Heywood Fralin, Thurston Moore, Kathy and Steve Markel, Susie and Ben Rawles, Ranjit and Inge Sen, Nancy and Robert Nooter, Adair Wheat, former director Michael Brand and his wife Tina, former director Katherine Lee Reid, Philip Klaus, Tiff and Kelly Armstrong, Bucci and John Zegner, John Luke, Shantaram and Sunita Taleganokar, Floyd and Helga Gottwald, Meg and Whit Clement, Caroline Hsu and Rene Balcer (the producer of "Law and Order"), Director Alex and Katherine Nyerges, architects Rick Mather and Peter Culley, and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, who confided to his companion, "This really puts us back on the map!"

— Gregory Speck for NYSD
Shantaram and Sunita Taleganokar
Hobie and Catherine Claiborne III with Moira and CT Hill
John Staelin and Elizabeth Locke
Janie Armfield with Pamela Reynolds
Gordon and Selina Rainey
Major and Pamela Reynolds
Bobbie and Jim Ukrop with Dorothy Pauley
First Lady Maureen McDonnell, Doug Wilder and Fran McGlothlin
Gil and Charlotte Minor
Louise Cochrane
Michael Brand and his wife Tina
Frances Lewis
Inge, Ranjit Sen, and Kathryn Nyerges
Floyd and Helga Gottwald
Alex Nyerges
Former Governor Tim Kaine
US Senator Bobby Scott
Dorothy and Stan Pauley
Jim McGlothlin with Governor Bob McDonnell
Houston, TX — Over 70 people attended the 10th anniversary celebration of the Rienzi Society. Meg Goodman and Mike Bonini chaired the event with co-chairs Isla and Tommy Reckling.

Guests enjoyed cocktails while previewing potential purchases for the collection, and during dinner voted on artwork to acquire for Rienzi’s collection, which includes 18th- and 19th- century European porcelain, silver, furniture, ceramics, and glass.
Luke McConn, Ann Doggett, James Reckling, and Elise Reckling and friends
In the ballroom, an elegant meal prepared by Jackson and Company included asparagus spears with truffle oil, fleur de sel, and shaved black truffles; beef tenderloin with béarnaise sauce; whipped potatoes; creamed spinach; and cheese, fruit and nuts. Over a dessert of chocolate pots de crème, Rienzi director Katherine Howe announced voting results.

A sterling silver Epergne (1754-55) made in London by William Cripps was the clear winner. Cripps made this formal centerpiece for Lord George Sackville, Secretary of State for the American Colonies from 1775.
Dinenr guests
With the remaining funds, guests also purchased a pair of Side Chairs (1730)—almost textbook examples of English George II side chairs—thanks to an additional donation from Cornelia and Meredith Long. Mrs. Long is the chairman of the MFAH board.

The surprise of the evening was that Jackson Hicks (founder of Jackson and Company) purchased an English silver Tea Urn made in London in 1764 for Rienzi in celebration of 10 years of the Rienzi Society and in honor of 25 years of service to the Masterson and Reckling families, who gave Rienzi to the MFAH.

Guests included: Harry and Rose Cullen, Elise and James Reckling, Jeanie Kilroy, Jas Gundry, Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs, Pat Breen, Les Ballard, Carroll Goodman, and Christiana McConn.
Blake and Laurie Liedtke with Bob Wakefield
Christine Gervais with Park Shaper
Elise and James Reckling
Sybil Roos and Dr. Jack Tausend
Mike Bonini and Luke McConn
Harry and Rose Cullen
Meredith and Cornelia Long with Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs
Leslie and Ann Doggett
Harriett Goodman and Jeanie Kilroy with Isla McConn
Meg Goodman and Mike Bonini
Carol Ballard and Judy Margolis
Cindy Thorp and Hayden Rieveschl
Isla Reckling and Meg Goodman with Mary Jane Wakefield
Jas Gundry and Tommy Reckling
Victor and Shirley Hopkins
Patti Burke and Kay Bruce and Joan Bynum
Mr. and Mrs. Reckling with Joseph Jornayvez and Miss Isla McConn
Mike Bonini and Meg Goodman
Park and Mary Eliza Shaper
Muffet Blake, Bob Murray, and Fran Fauntleroy
Pat Breen and Les Ballard
Katherine Howe and Jeanie Kilroy
Victor Hopkins with Isla Reckling
More from Houston — On Saturday, March 27, 2010, the Houston Symphony held its 2010 Ball and After Party Music Matters! What a Wonderful World at the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Americas in Houston. Kelli and Martin Fein were Ball chairmen and Margaret Alkek Williams was Honorary chairman. Ben Harwood Rose and Erica Rose were the After Party chairmen. The evening raised more than $900,000.

The evening honorees were: Aileen B. Gordon received the Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Philanthropy Award. Jeanie Reckart accepted on behalf of Fidelity Investments the Houston Symphony's Maurice Hirsch Corporate Citizenship Award. Cora Sue Mach received special recognition for her leadership in the areas of education and community engagement for Houston Symphony.

The Ball entertainment featured The Richard Brown Orchestra with special guest Troy “Satchmo” Anderson. Darryl Murchison transformed the ballroom into a magical garden with a New Orleans flavor. Instead of multiple speakers there was a moving video describing the Houston Symphony’s Music Matters! education program.
Bobby and Phoebe Tudor
Bill and Joann Crassas
Ceron and Diane Lokey Farb
Aileen Gordon and Frann Lichenstein
Brandon VanWaeyenberghe and Jeanie Reckart
Cora Sue Mach
Fady Armanious
Cyvia Wolff and Lois Stark
Donna Speer, Susan Boggio, Darlene Bisso
Ed and Lorraine Wulfe
Joanne King Herring
Christina and Mark Hanson
Ulyesse and Barbara LeGrange
Liz Granville
Kathi and Bill Rovere
Kelli Fein, Margaret Alkek Williams, Martin Fein
Jim Denton and Jeanne Becker
John and Danielle Ellis
Kelli and Martin Fein
David and Tara Wuthrich
Margaret Alkek Williams
Y. Ping Sun
Rebecca Chapman
Paula and Magnus Fyrh
Richard and Sylvia Hoffert
Sharon Gaille and Nancy Littlejohn
Anat Kaufman and Jay Zeidman
Angie Guiberteau and Ryan Moore
Courtney Zubowski and Stevie Bingham
Lindsey Love
Erin Finger and Ben Harwood Rose
Lea and Tom Radom
Kristyn and Marty Hogan
Lori Freese and Beth Bryant
Terry Zmyslo and Edward Sanchez
Melissa Seuffert and Brett Mitchell
Even more from Houston — Decorative Center Houston's annual Spring Market drew a large crowd of enthusiastic art and design aficionados. A panel discussion on how luxury is being redefined in today’s marketplace was moderated by Veranda Magazine’s Editor-at Large, Carolyn Englefield, and panelists Peter Pennoyer, Art of Design award winner; and designers Michelle Nussbaumer, Jan Showers, Geoffrey Westergaard, and J. Randall Powers. Panelists led discussions on craft, innovation, authenticity, value and social responsibility on how they contribute to today’s definition of luxury.
John Casbarian, Natalye Appel, Julia Casbarian, Claudia Casbarian, and Danny Samuels
Peter Pennoyer, Michelle Nussbaumer, Carolyn Englefield, Jan Showers, Geoffrey Westergaard, and J. Randall Powers
Following the keynote presentation, sponsors hosted showroom events throughout the day. The final keynote presentation in the afternoon was entitled “The Evolution of Design” and was led by Sophie Donelson and Julie Noran with The Editor at Large. Panelist Jillian St. Charles, Vice President and Site Director; Brad Ford, Designer and Founder,; Ronda Carman, Founder, All and Joni Webb, Founder, led discussions on using new tools and resources to innovate and take business in new directions. Through creative initiatives and forward thinking, these panelists have become trailblazers with setting new standards and contributing to a new evolving world of design.
Charles S. Cohen, Julia Noran, Jillian St. Charles, Joni Webb, Sophie Donelson, Ronda Carman, and Brad Ford
Sophie Donelson, Julia Noran, Ronda Carman, Brad Ford, Jillian St. Charles, and Joni Webb
Joe Shaffer, Keiji Asakura, Melissa Borell, Danny Samuels, John Casbarian, and Aaron Parazette
After a full day of activities, the Spring Market concluded with the announcement of the Stars of Design Award winners saluting outstanding design talent. This year’s winners were:

Lifetime Achievement: Meredith Long, Meredith Long & Company
Architecture: John Casbarian & Danny Samuels, Taft Architects
Art: Aaron Parazette
Graphic Design: Paula Savage Hansen, SAVAGE
Interior Design: P. Joe Shaffer
Jewelry Design: Melissa Borrell, Melissa Borrell Design
Landscape Design, Keiji Asakura, Asakura Robinson Company
Photography: Keith Carter
Selena Mackay and Karen Taylor
Corneila and Meredith Long
Keiji Asakura and daughter Sophie
John Andell and Craig Tooms
Sharon Bicle and Katie Brockman
Selena Mackay, Larissa Pineda, and Patricia Goravanchi
Keiji Asakura and Fernando Brave
Dahlia Salazar, Paula Savage Hansen, and Bethany Haley
Sandra Llewellyn, Barry Dixon, and Carolyn Englefield
Mary Hilton and Bill Stubbs
Carol Piper, Georgia Foulard, and Priscilla Larson
Carol Isaak Barden and Stephen Fox
Chuck Gulick, Allen Huff, and Vann Vaughan
Allen McReynolds with Buck and Sharon Ballas
Milton Townsend and Jackson Hicks
Jeanne Crusemann Daniels and Jas Gundry
Ryan Reitmeyer, Allen McReynolds, Kay O'Toole, and Piper Carol
Charles S. Cohen and Paula Savage Hansen
Laura Roach, Marsha Cross Beeson, and Punita Valambhia
Sophie Donelson
P. Joe Shaffer and Charles S. Cohen
And even more from Houston – Legacy Community Health Services recently held their 11th anniversary with this year’s gala: Where Fashion Meets Philanthropy, a fashionable soiree featuring fashion, cuisine, and music from around the world. This year’s chairs were the spectacular trio of Bob Devlin, Melissa Mithoff and Susan Plank. The elegant soiree was held at Neiman Marcus Couture Salon-Houston Galleria on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Melissa Mithoff, Susan Plank, and Bob Devlin
Legacy honored Houstonian’s, Debra and Mark Grierson, with the 11th Annual Jerry D. Bartee Humanitarian Award in recognition of their extraordinary philanthropic spirit and tremendous support of Legacy Community Health Services. The Jerry D. Bartee Humanitarian Award was named after Jerry Bartee, a true visionary who took on the daunting task of bringing to light the importance of helping those who could not access quality healthcare.

Jerry believed in the mission of Legacy Community Health Services and worked to ensure Legacy’s growth in order to meet the increasing healthcare needs of the greater Houston community.

Legacy Community Health Services is a full service Federally Qualified Health Center that provides comprehensive, primary healthcare services to all Houstonians in a culturally sensitive, judgment-free and confidential environment.

Each year Legacy provides low-cost or no-cost primary healthcare services, all on a sliding fee scale, to over 20,000 Houston area men, women and children who would not otherwise have access to quality healthcare. For the convenience of patients, Legacy operates from three Houston area clinics and has an onsite Walgreen’s pharmacy at its main clinic location.
Margaret Alkek Williams
Christine Sullivan, Debbie Festari, and Mauney Mafrige
Legacy employs a full-time staff of physicians and healthcare professionals who provide services that include specialized care for men and women, podiatric care, family planning services, eye care, psychiatry, and wellness services including physical therapy, personal training and nutrition services, as well as specialized healthcare for HIV/AIDS. Legacy conducts community outreach activities that promote various health issues to underserved communities and also operates the Legacy Advocacy Project, which advocates at the city, state and federal levels for fair and effective healthcare related policies.
Melissa and Michael Mithoff
Debra and Mark Grierson
Joan and Luke Mandola
Bob Devlin and Liz Zaruba
Katherine Phelps
Susan and Mike Plank
Monsour Taghdisi and Carolyn Farb
Maryann and David McKeithan
Elizabeth and Gary Petersen
Sarah and Ron Simon
Sheridan William and Pat Breen
Eddie and Sheridan Williams with Ginni and Richard Mithoff
Judith Oudt
Leigh Williams and Courtney Hopson
Mark Siurek, Katy Caldwell, and Gary Higgins
Robyn Vermeil
Paul-David Van Atta and Ceron
Milton Townsend
Laura Cassey and Jennifer Stern
Ericka and Jeff Bagwell
Chree Boydstun and Gina Sullivan
Wolfgang and Gelila Puck invited 100 (RSVP list also attached) of friends of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) for dinner at Wolfie’s new restaurant, WP24 (at the equally new Ritz-Carlton) to celebrate the museum’s new curatorial team in the Modern, Contemporary and Photography Departments.

LACMA has added four fabulous new curators in these areas, Franklin Sirmans (who came from the Menil Collection in Houston to be Senior Curator and Department Head of Contemporary Art), Christine Y. Kim as Associate Curator of Contemporary Art (who came from the Studio Museum in Harlem) and Rita Gonzalez.

In the Photography Department they have brought in Britt Salvesen (who came from the Center for Creative Photography in Arizona) and Edward Robinson (a former fellow at MoMA), who joined the staff last year becoming Associate Curator of Photography.

LACMA's Director, Michael Govan and his wife Katherine Ross co-hosted the event with the Pucks for 100 guests who included actress Rachel Griffith (Brothers and Sisters), and Julie Bowen (who stars in the television show Modern Family) as well as artist Mark Bradford, and movie producer Irwin (and wife Margo) Winkler.
Adam Winkler and Brickson Diamond
Irwin Winkler and Margo Winkler
Carl Petty John and Violet Lucas
Andy Taylor and Rachel Griffiths
Erin Wright and Joe Sola
Julie Bowen
Joy Simmons and Christine Y. Kim
Burt Levitch and Carol Eliel
Leslie Rubinoff and Karyn Lovegrove
Melissa Bomes and Gregory Gilmer
Britt Salvesen, Erin Wright, Wolf Gang Puck, and Gelila Puck
David LaChapelle and Michael Farhang
Jamie McCourt, Katherine Ross, and Gelila Puck
Pete and Terry Morello
Mark Selwny, Brenda Potter, and Edward Robinson
Linda and Jerry Janger
Mark Sone and Kurt Shephard
Stephanie Barron and Linda Janger
Michael Govan and Katherine Ross
Michelle Urton
Sharon Johnson, Jennifer Parker
Violet Spitzer Lucas, Katherine Ross
Samantha Davies and Michelle Gonzales
Waldo Fernandez and Meredith Daro
Sarah Watson and Julian Sands
Photographs by Gregory Speck (Virginia); Fulton Davenport/Kim Coffman (Houston Symphony); George Ramirez Photography (Rienzi); Eric Hester (DCH); (LACMA).

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