Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Palm Beach Social Diary

Emma Manners, The Duchess of Rutland, co-author of Capability Brown at Belvoir: Discovering a Lost Landscape, was the guest lecturer for the sold-out luncheon at The Colony Hotel in support of the American Friends of British Art. Welsh-born and trained as an opera singer, The Duchess is no less than an original, as spirited and quick-witted as she is insightful and pragmatic. In 1992 she married David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, with whom she has five children. For nearly 1,000 years, the family has lived in the stately 100-room Belvoir Castle, described as "a Neo-Gothic colossus."
English Fare at Palm Beach: The Duchess of Rutland at The Colony + Lord Foster at The Norton Art Museum's 75th Gala
By Augustus Mayhew

Fortunately this past weekend I carried my Oxford English phrase book as a swarm of Palm Beachers turned out for the Duchess of Rutland's SRO presentation at the American Friends of British Art luncheon at The Colony Hotel and later in the day 400 guests braved unseasonable weather to attend the Norton Art Museum's 75th Diamond Gala where British architect Norman Foster, Lord of Thames Bank, was the evening's special guest. Her Majesty's Consul General Dave Prodger introduced The Duchess, recounting the US-UK's shared history.

The Norton's CEO Hope Alswang and board of trustee's chairman Harry Howell announced fundraising for The New Norton had reached more than $50 million, slightly less than the $80 million David Geffen paid several years ago for one Jasper Johns painting, before turning the program over to Lord Foster, principal of Foster + Partners, who has designed the museum's plan to become a 21st century destination. Along with an indoor groundbreaking shovel tableau and visuals illustrating The Norton's transformation to be completed in 2018, there was dinner, dancing, and a preview of STILL / MOVING – Photographs and Video Art from the DeWoody Collection featuring more than 200 pieces from distinguished collector Beth Rudin DeWoody.

The following day, I motored to South Beach to keep with The Duchess who was the guest at a spectacular brunch given by Fernando Wong and Tim Johnson of Fernando Wong Outdoor Living – Palm Beach/Miami Beach, one of the sponsors of Her Grace's presentation the day before at Palm Beach.

American Friends of British Art Luncheon at The Colony Hotel – Palm Beach
February 6 - 11:30 a.m.
Emma, The Duchess of Rutland, and Michael Ridgdill, director of the American Friends of British Art.
The Colony's Pavilion was SRO for the luncheon.
Her Grace's luncheon topic.
Belvoir Castle. Grantham, Leicestershire, United Kingdom. While the castle is the centerpiece of the Belvoir Estate, the Rutlands' holdings include 320 "distinctive properties" to let.
Belvoir Castle, dining room. Emma's discourse was far more engaging than any of The Great British Baking Show episodes.
Dave Prodger, British Consul General-Miami, and Michael Ridgdill.
Sophie Mellon and Charlotte Johnson.
Michael Witmer and Dino Rivera.
Bobby Spencer and Princess Maria Pia di Savoia-Bourbon.
John Loring, Gigi Benson, and Scott Houston.
Genia Dial and Linda Collins.
Luncheon Place Card, "The Duchess."
Vivian Dorris. Evelyn Nutman.
Charles Poole and Bruce Langmaid.
Marina Zangrilli and Lady Louise Lewinton.
Michael Boodro, Kaki Holt, and Fernando Wong.
Jimmy Borynack, Marquesa Barbara de San Damian, and Adolfo Zaralegui.
Alexia Luschen and Eaddo Kiernan.
Bill Proctor, Richmond Schmidt, and Ronnie Cavalcanti.
Luncheon Place Card.
I was a guest at Table Four, hosted by landscape designer Fernando Wong and his partner Tim Johnson.
Michael Fullwood and Lou Marotta.
Bill Diamond and Regine Traulsen.
David Lowe. Scott Moses.
Jennifer Garrigues and John Loring.
William Eubanks and Ben Stein.
Terri Mersentes.
Darrell Hofheinz.
"The French pronounce it (Belvoir) as "Bel Vwar," meaning a beautiful view, but we English say "Bee Ver," which I know has another connotation here in the States, but after all, we're English," explained The Duchess. From that moment, the audience was hers.
Michael Ridgdill and Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill.
Matt Hall and Emma, Duchess of Rutland.
Norton Art Museum Gala celebrates 75th
February 6 - 6 pm

The Norton's Diamond Gala event chairs for the landmark evening were Lori Gendelman, Nicki Harris, Karin Luter, Nicola Marcus, and Eddy Taylor. The corporate grand benefactors were The Bristol Palm Beach, Northern Trust, and Van Cleef & Arpels. The corporate benefactor was Sotheby's. The Museum board officers are: Harry Howell, Chairman, John Niblack, vice-chair, Joey Pearson, vice-chair, Bruce Beal, secretary. The Board of Trustees are: Dick Barovick, Ruth Baum, Jane Carroll, Howard Cox, Philip Geier, Jr, Bruce Gendelman, Peter Georgescu, ex-officio Debbie Stapleton, Pamela Goergen, Kemp C. Stickney, Nicki Harris, Bob Stiller, Ronnie Heyman, Simone Vickar, Michelle Jacobs, Irene Karp, Carlos Morrison, Jerry Pearlman, Dr. Henry Kaufman, Jane Korman, Arthur Martinez, Gil Maurer, John Richman, Ralph Saltzman, Jean Sharf, Anne Smith, Larry Sosnow, Hope Alswang, executive director and CEO.
Norton Art Museum, Grand Hall. Because of unpredictable weather, the groundbreaking ceremony was moved indoors. The centerpiece is flanked by images of the original museum building..
Out with the Old ...
Norton Art Museum, south elevation. 2016.
In with The New Norton – 2018 …
Norton Art Museum, 2018. Foster + Partners.
Harry and Barbara Howell. Mr. Howell is chairman of the Norton Art Museum's board of trustees.
Hope Alswang, the museum's director and CEO, Harry Howell, chairman of the museum's board of trustees, and Lord Foster.
"Please welcome one of the world's great architects, Norman Foster, Lord of Thames Bank …"
Lord Foster, principal of Foster + Partners based in London. In 1999 Norman Foster was honored with a life peerage in the Queen's Birthday Honors List, taking the title Lord Foster of Thames Bank.
The Norton's board of trustees participated in an indoor groundbreaking ceremony in the museum's Grand Hall. The New Norton's $60 million transformation includes the addition of new elevations, event areas, 12,000-square-feet of exhibition-gallery space, and a Great Hall with a 43-foot high ceiling. With the completion of the Foster + Partners plan, the museum will front South Dixie Highway, having made a 180-degree shift from when it first opened 75 years ago facing South Olive Avenue with its iconic sculptures by Paul Manship. An additional 20,000-square-foot of landscaping space includes an open lawn area, plants, a shade garden, and a sculpture garden.
Norton Art Museum 2018.
Norton Art Museum, 2018. Foster + Partners.
Norton Art Museum, 2018. Foster + Partners.
Museum trustee Irene Karp and Lord Foster.
Lori and Bruce Gendelman.
Christine and Bob Stiller.
Gil and Ann Maurer.
Judy and Leonard Lauder.
David Maupin and Stefano Tonchi.
Photographs and Video Art
From the DeWoody Collection
Beth Rudin DeWoody and Firooz Zahedi.
STILL / MOVING: Photographs and Video Art from the DeWoody Collection.
STILL / MOVING: Photographs and Video Art from the DeWoody Collection.
Gregory Crewdson's Untitled (beckoning bus driver).2001-2002. Chromagenic development print.
STILL / MOVING: Photographs and Video Art from the DeWoody Collection.
A work by Fernando Fonssagrives introduces the STILL/MOVING exhibition.
Gesticulations of an American Icon. Nelson Hallonquist. 2008. Digital video, edition 2 of 5.
Bob Vila and Diana Barrett.
Michael Kovner and Jean Doyen de la Montailou..
Beth Dowdle.
David Rollins and Nancy Brinker.
Debbie Stapleton, a museum trustee. Phyllis Fogelson and museum trustee Jean Scharf wearing fashionable arm slings. "We want to be photographed together."
Gilbert and Doreen Bassin.
Jeffrey and Nicola Marcus, a chair of the evening's gala.
Duncan Darrow and Wendy Moonan.
Nikki Harris and Lori Gendelman were event chairs for the evening that attracted more than 400 guests.
Brunch with The Duchess in South Beach
The Flamingo, 1504 North Bay Road
February 7 – 11:30 am
Flamingo Building, 1504 North Bay Road. We arrived just after 11:30 as we made a stop at Panther Coffee where the line was out the door.
Flamingo Building, entrance. The apartment was on the 27th floor.
The Miami panoramas and the views of South Beach to the north and southeast were fantastic.
The cruise ships were lined up, preparing for a late afternoon departure. The Miami skyline continues to swell as dense as Hong Kong and Rio.
From the east terrace, a view of the Herzog & de Meuron parking garage on Lincoln Road and beyond to the northeast, the Fontainebleau Hotel.
Tim Johnson, Emma, The Duchess of Rutland, and Fernando Wong on the west terrace. Tim and Fernando hosted the reception for Emma at their SoBe apartment.
Bill Taylor.
John Phibbs, a renowned English garden historian, established the Capability Brown 1716-2016 organization celebrating the life and achievements of Britain's greatest green thumb who designed the grounds at Belvoir Castle. Phibbs' landmark book on Capability Brown will be published by Rizzoli.
Michael Ridgdill and Patrizia Sceppa.
Michael Boodro and Her Grace.
A guest brought Fernando a bouquet.
Sam Robin, Sofia Joelsson, and Eloy Carmenate.
Michael Raynes.
Tina Carlo and Jim Horowitz.
Ray Ellen Yarkin and Janice Lipton.
Lou Marotta and Michael Fullwood.
Phil Burtt, one of the UK's best grouse shots who is the estate manager at Belvoir Castle.
Mr. Burtt's friendship with Her Grace has been the subject of numerous headlines the past several months.
View from the south terrace.
Looking further to the southeast, views of the ocean beyond.
The Duchess unleashes a touch of English affection on Michael Boodro.
East terrace, Florida tableau.
Emma gave one of the engaging monologues with whimsy and weight, about living in a castle, having five children, and to never forget how to be yourself.
Tim Johnson, Duchess of Rutland, and Fernando Wong. Cheerio!
Photography by Augustus Mayhew.

Augustus Mayhew is the author of Lost in Wonderland – Reflections on Palm Beach.