Palm Beach Social Diary: Past Pleasures at Palm Beach

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Garrison du Pont Lickle and Michele Henry with LinQing Yang and Cameron Lickle at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens reception for the 3rd Annual Sculpture in Motion exhibition's sponsors, trustees, car owners, and host committee members.

Vintage cars … Carnevale … never forget the last time you saw Venice. Palm Beach artifacts & garden blooms. What a difference a year makes at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, now among the National Trust’s 30 credited Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios (HAHS).

For anyone with an eye for design and the industrial arts, this past weekend’s garden concours was simply sensational. My stay in Turin last spring fostered my appreciation for all things Italian-engineered.

Cheryl McKee.

By chance at Saturday night’s Sculpture in Motion exhibition, I met Cheryl McKee, her Man-O-War Cay home in the Bahamas apparently still standing. We shared a table in the courtyard, strategically located as the first-stop for the passing hors oeuvres trays. Because of my limited mobility or was it my crave for lobster-and-cheese sliders, we both lost track of time, speaking as if we’d known each other.

Cheryl’s father, the extraordinary deep-sea explorer and underwater archaeologist Robert Marx who died this past summer, led the most exceptional life that took him from the Pacific Ocean to Phoenician shipwrecks to the Indian Ocean. Through his research, articles, and books, Marx is credited with uncovering thousands of shipwrecks, yielding believed-lost antiquities, that today fill museum cabinets. On Tuesday, Cheryl made it to my opening of Alternative Reality: Venice & Palm Beach at Jennifer Garrigues, sharing photos of her father’s accomplishments from a life well-lived, ever present pleasures from the past.

November 15-16, 2019
3rd Annual Sculpture in Motion Exhibition
Ann Norton Sculpture Garden

VROOM! The pre- and post-WW II wheel estate shown at this past weekend’s 3rd Annual Sculpture in Motion exhibition at The Ann Norton’s garden showroom was a reminder when motoring was a leisurely sensual experience, whether a plein-air countryside diversion or an after-dark jaunt through downtown city streets ablaze with bolts of light. Then, industrial design integrated aesthetics and function with pleasure and practicality.

Italian style – at the forefront of 20th-century industrial design.

Today, not so much. The once rural landscape, now Suburbia, is packed with subdivisions along with shopping center islands and office parks encircled with asphalt paved parking lots. 21st-century auto manufacturing appears to focus on high-tech engineering padded with artificial intelligence features rather than exceptional design.

This year’s event was chaired by Frances and Jeffrey Fisher, Sam and Lisa Lehrman, and Audrey and Martin GrussOnce again, John Barnes, founder of the Cavallino Classic, curated the competition and served as honorary chairman. Donald Osborne, author, car historian and host of television’s Jay Leno’s Garage, was Grand Marshal. Sponsors included Sentient Jet, Gunster Law Firm, Key Private Bank, and Palm Beach Illustrated magazine.

Frances Fisher, right, chairman of the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens board of trustees, welcomes Anne Messer, left, of the Wilmington Trust.
John Barnes, the event’s honorary chairman and founder of the renowned Cavallino Classic.
A Citroen of some provenance brings to mind one of my fave films, Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle.
Kristen Vila.
A sleek Ferrari, as head-turning decades ago on the Via Veneto as on today’s Worth Avenue.
Event sponsors.
A sensation at 1934 New York Auto Show, this 1934 Chrysler Airflow CV Coupe was considered the era’s most important manufactured car for its aerodynamics, lightweight construction, and streamline design.
Sentient Jet’s Patrick Clarke, Kristen LaMotte, and Joe Bachand.
A red Ferrari.
Car buffs gather in the garden for brunch.
John Barnes, the show’s longtime curator, and Jeffrey Fisher, one of the event’s founders. When I asked John, if there was a car he would like to own at the moment, “Any old Bugatti,” he said.When I asked Fisher the same question, he replied “ a Ferrari Zagatto 250 MM short-chassis Vignale.”
Ettore Bugatti’s most elegant 1938 Bugatti T 57 D’leteren Cabriolet. After WW II, the car was owned by the Fauvist artist Andre Derain. Since 2016, it has been part of the Pegasus Collection.
This 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix won the Most Artistic Award. Of the forty that were produced, only 23 are known to remain, for this significant automobile, “considered the single most successful race car design in history.”
More than 200 guests gathered for the Saturday evening reception.
The event attracted an array of auto aficionados, the fast and the …
… not so fast. An Autobianchi Bianchini at rest on the Ann Norton front lawn.
Dennis and Cynthia Kanai, ANSG CEO.
The Most Elegant Award was won by “Big Red,” the 1929 Duesenberg Model J LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton.

1957 Bill Frick Series

This 1957 Bill Frick Cadillac Special GT was engineered by Bill Frick, designed by Giovanni Michelotti, and bodied by Vignale. It was regarded as “America’s answer to Europe.”

Francesco Blanco, owner-manager of Cafe Sapori, catered an exceptional dinner for an evening reception.
Sunflower Courtyard.
David Miller and Cheryl McKee.
A Bugatti of some note.
Christina and Ben Macfarland.
An award-winning 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Figoni Coupe.
Rudy and Emmy Scheerer.
L. to r.: Pam O’Connor; Jennifer Garrigues.
A 1940 Packard Super 8 160 Convertible, “a true American automobile.”

The 1958 FIAT 1200 Vignale Wonderful won the event’s Young Connoisseur award, voting by those 18 and younger. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti, it has been described as “… a baroque treasure of style and flamboyance with extravagant rear fins and a wide swath of color.”
This 1951 Lea Francis Convertible is a British sporting car, popular in the ’20s-’30s.
Bill and Lynne Mulcahy.
The showroom.
Jeff Fisher faces the cameras.
In the grotto pond.
The view of Wonderland at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens concours.

November 19, 2019
Alternative Reality: Venice & Palm Beach photo show opens
Jennifer Garrigues Inc.

308 Peruvian Avenue

As many as 100 guests attended Tuesday night’s preview at Jennifer Garrigues gallery on Peruvian Avenue. The show runs until December 14.
Joe Carroll and Jennifer Garrigues.
Polly Reed, longtime chairman of Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden, Lulu Zezza, and Katie Kuhner.
Astrologer Scott Silverman and Diana Hammerstein.
Beth Rudin DeWoody.
David Miller, art appraiser.
Sandy Thompson.
Art consultant Lacy Davisson with Nicolas and Ginger Sander.
Curator Laura Dvorkin.
Attorney Cynthia Van Buren.
Cheryl McKee.
L. to r.: Curator Maynard Munrow; Photographer and Audubon publisher Bob Hall.
Judy Schrafft and David Kamm.

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