Swan Ball 2019: Coming Home to Cheekwood: a Country Era Estate

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Earlier last month, Nashville’s 57th annual Swan Ball was on the Swan Lawn at Cheekwood.  Chaired by Jana Davis and Ellen Martin, the event benefited Nashville’s most fabled botanical gardens and arts treasure, Cheekwood. The Swan Ball was founded by the late Jane Anderson Dudley.

Guests entered the mansion to an eye-catching collection of Chinese Imari vases, ginger jars, and bowls overflowing with summer garden flowers. As guests ascended the grand staircase following a fragrant serpentine garland of old English garden roses, they were met by a stunning marble urn filled with an abundance of cascading garden flowers sourced from across the globe and nestled majestically in the second floor niche.



The exquisite period-decorated Swan Ball tent extended the country estate feel of the imposing Cheekwood mansion and was divided into three magnificent rooms for dining – the Great Hall, the Drawing Room and the Portrait Gallery.

In the Great Hall, tables were covered with beautiful ivory damask linens and anchored in the center with a splendid collection of antique silver tureens, pedestals, and champagne coolers overflowing with late spring garden flowers including peonies in shades of pink and coral, David Austin roses, green Viburnum blossoms, French tulips in tones of yellow and pink, foxglove, and watermelon colored dahlias. The chairs’ tables were majestically set, adorned with additional antique silver epergnes and a matching pair of monumental neoclassical candelabra figural ladies designed by the French artist Jean-Louis Gregoire in the 1860s, and tall shaded candlesticks that provided ambient dinner lighting.



The Drawing Room tables were set in high style covered in gold damask linens anchored in the center with a collection of cut glass vases overflowing with late spring garden flowers and tapered crystal candlesticks for candlelight dining.

The noble Portrait Gallery was filled with tables covered with gold damask linens complemented by mahogany Chiavari chairs. A collection of Chinese Imari bowls filled with a collection of late spring blossoms and tapered brass candlesticks anchored the tables in the center.




Dori Thornton Waller of The Social Office was in charge of planning and production along with Nashville’s premier floral designer, Mark O’Bryan of The Tulip Tree.

Swan Award 2019 recipient Nashvillian Claire Armistead, with Bobby O’Bryan.

Headlining Swan Ball 2019 was hometown trio and GRAMMY award winners Lady Antebellum. The featured jeweler was John de Jong. The prestigious Swan Award was presented to Nashville native Clare Armistead.

Nashville’s Kristen Winston of Kristen Winston Catering provided a culinary masterpiece for Swan Ball guests. As is tradition, Maxwell House coffee was served after dinner. Lipman Brothers and R.S. Lipman donated the wine and spirits.

The Swan Ball Auction was chaired by Laura Bowen, Lise Morrow and Susan Weathersby. Guests had the opportunity to bid on once in a lifetime domestic and international trips, complete with unparalleled personal amenities.


Headline Entertainment Grammy Award Winners Lady Antebellum.

The Late Party co-chairs were Elizabeth Frist and Eileen Hart. Late Party guests were treated to a chic summer evening “in the garden.” Summer cocktails and mouth-watering appetizers greeted guests as they arrived and mingled to the sounds of the Craig Duncan Trio. The décor, with floral design by boutique florist FLWR Shop, celebrated the beauty of early summer as guests walked among trellises laden with lush, fluffy garden roses and breathed in the intoxicating scent of roses, jasmine and peonies. Guests dined on a delicious meal from G Catering in a lush garden of blooming jasmine in varying shades of pink. Massey Hall was draped in billowing soft blush drape with two large hand-painted murals serving as a focal point. Stunning crystal chandeliers and greenery draped lanterns hung from above to complete the elegant garden feel.


Gerry Nadeau, Swan Ball 2019 Chair Ellen Martin (in Oscar de la Renta), and Sloan, Steven, Phyllis and Steve Fridrich.
L. to r.: Earl and Janet Bentz; Sandra and Larry Lipman.
Ansel Davis, Swan Ball 2019 Chairs Jana Davis and Ellen Martin, and Gerry Nadeau.
L. to r.: Emily and Mark Humphreys; Mara Papatheodorou and Jim Berkeley.
Chris Hart, Swan Ball 2019 Late Party Chairs Eileen Hart and Elizabeth Frist, and Bryan Frist.
Lin and Bill Andrews.
L. to r.: Swan Ball 2019 Auction Chairs Laura Bowen, Lise Morrow and Susan Weathersby; Barby and Govan White.
Swan Ball 2019 Jeweler John de Jong, with Patti and Brian Smallwood.
Marie Young, Grace Clayton, and Amy Scruggs Adams.
L. to r.: Jack and Barbara Bovender; Meredith and Barbara Caldwell.
Tooty Bradford, Karyn Frist, and Julia Jarman.
Don MacLeod, Cheekwood President and CEO Jane MacLeod, and Kate and Steven Ezell.
L. to r.: Johnna Watson in Custom Couture Monique Lhuillier; Lee and Emily Noel.
Ben and Katie Gambill with Tom and Mary Gambill.
L. to r.: Debra Phelon and Lee Beaman; Sara and Richard Bovender.
Lisa Campbell with Gene and Karen Fleming.
L. to r.: David and Sarah Ingram; Anne and Joe Russell.
Brian Setzer, Linda Raymer, Michael Dixon, and Elwyn Raymer.
Randall and Sally Henderson, with Mary and Michael Spalding.
L. to r.: Lee Baskersville and Theresa Menefee; Dale and Jane Anne Pilkinton.
Peek and Jennie Garlington, with Shaun and Gordon Inman.
Jim and Courtney Fitzgerald, with Karen and Bruce Moore.
Ed and Allison Braswell, with Tawnie and Vic Campbell.
Richard and Judith Bracken, with Trudy and Bill Carpenter.
Tom and Betsy Matlock, with Jean Ann and Barry Banker.
L. to r.: Janice Elliott Morgan, Zang Toi, and Swan Ball Chair Jana Davis (in Zang Toi); Denice and Milton Johnson.
Joseph Singer, Mary Catherine and David McClellan, and Mish Tworkowski.
Noel and Richard Geer, with Brenda and Joe Steakley.
Jean and Denny Bottorff.
Ben and Tricia Carswell, Mary Lindley Carswell, and Austin O’Connor.
Ashley and Harrison Frist.
Rob and Haley Eakin, with Jack Eakin.

Photographs by Peyton Hoge, Alan Poizner, & Shelley Mays

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