A Tale of Two Times
A venue, too, thanks to the new exhibition center of The Historic New Orleans Collection, which had its opening reception — an exclusive event for capital campaign donors and select guests — on a recent Tuesday evening. It was presented by The Collection with major support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and additional support from Waggoner & Ball, Architecture/Environment.
The project, which cost $38 million and has been in construction since 2015, consists of a historic restoration, a courtyard and a new facility built for exhibitions. Thus: past, present, future. The original structure was built in 1816 and is remembered for four previous owners: Francois Seignouret, Pierre Brulator, William Ratcliffe Irby and the local NBC affiliate, WDSU. The property was purchased by THNOC in 2006.
Upon arriving, guests sampled hors d’oeuvres from Joel’s Catering and Special Events and cocktails. Selections from the new museum café, Café Cour, operated by Dana and Christina Honn, of Café Carmo, beckoned the collective appetite. More features — other than the impressive new space — were floral arrangements by Joey Landry, of Arbor House Floral, lighting and AV by See Hear Productions, and music by four musicians from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, who donated their time and talent.
At 7 p.m., THNOC board Chairman Drew Jardine addressed the crowd, followed by words from President and CEO Priscilla Lawrence and Vice President John Kallenborn (Louisiana, JPMorgan Chase). Joining them were spouses Julie; John, THNOC’s director of museum programs; and Boo. Noted too, within the crowd of 400 or so were E. Alexandra Stafford and Raymond Rathle, Michael and Kathy Liebart, Daniel Hammer and Klara, Daryl and Louellen Berger, Mr. and Mrs. Barry Siegel, Mac and Ellen Ball, David Waggoner, Roger Ogden and Ken Barnes, George and Sarah Young, Georges and Anne Marbot visiting from France, Andrew and Crickett Lapeyre, Robert and Patti Lapeyre, Lisa Lapeyre, Mr. and Mrs. Michael F. Schott, Clancy and Margo DuBos, David Schulingkamp, Jessie Schott Haynes, Ron Harrell and Christian Mounger, Tim Trapolin, Claude and Mimi Schlesinger, Hilton Bell, Jan Gilbert, Erik and Barbara Johnsen, Bonnie and John Boyd, Sally Richards, Ann Masson, Tommy and Dathel Coleman, Dominic Massa and Bob and Jan Carr, Andree Moss, Peter Moss, Ron and Ann Pincus, Melissa Gibbs and countless others, such as Peter Patout and Pat O’Brien, who scoped the site and said “Isn’t this extraordinary!”
Blooms with a View
The annual Art in Bloom, a five-day floral extravaganza at the New Orleans Museum of Art, was titled “Illuminations Looking Within and Beyond.” It was in partnership with IberiaBank and consisted of a Wednesday evening patron and preview party; a Thursday lecture series with Putnam & Putnam, as well as Nicky Haslam, followed by luncheon in the Pavilion of Two Sisters by Ralph Brennan Catering and Events and a well-applauded fashion show by Saks Fifth Avenue; and on that Thursday, through Sunday, exhibits open to the public.
Sweet Dupuy and Catherine Makk chaired the 2019 Art in Bloom, eliciting a host of compliments. More high profilers in the posy pack were Garden Study Club President Elly Lane, NOMA Volunteer Committee Chairwoman Jennifer Heebe (with Fred), NOMA Montine McDaniel Freeman Director Susan M. Taylor, and the 40 members on the AiB committee.
Assembled for the Wednesday previewing were Brett Lapeyre, Anne Redd, Peggy and Timber Floyd, Sally and Walter Cockerham, Susu and Andrew Stall, Susan and Jimmy Gundlach, Carol and John Hall, Louisette Brown with George Dunbar, Darroch and Michael Putnam, Nicky Haslam, Frances and Rodney Smith and Courtney Egan. To name a floral few, who enjoyed offerings from more than 75 exhibitors; purveyance from 25-plus restaurants and caterers; an auction; and the exhibitor categories of Creative Designs, Exterior Design, Garden Clubs, Ikebana, Movers and Shakers (with installations by The New Orleans Advocate and Gambit, Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, and seven others), Professional Florists, Tablescapes and Young Artists. For entertainment, Charles Kohlmeyer was tapped.
Metairie Bank presented Jefferson Beautification Inc.’s Parkway Promenade XXVIII, which was titled “An Evening in Monte Carlo” and chaired by Arleeta Terrell. Chateau Golf and Country Club was the actual venue. Prior to the main event, patrons, such as Metairie Bank President Ron E. Sanford Jr., hobnobbed in the Main Lounge.
The Grand Ballroom was deftly and decoratively changed into the Casino de Monte-Carlo and featured games of blackjack, craps, roulette and poker. Archways were adorned with clusters of red, white and black balloons, as was the stage. More balloons were on the auction tables, which were trimmed with netting of those three colors and white twinkle lights. Selected paintings by the event’s honorary chairman, renowned artist James Michalopoulos, were displayed. A giclee by him, “Fleur de Vie,” was auctioned off in the live bidding, helmed by Henry Shane (with Pat), and bought by JBI President Sharon Hannahan. Joy Shane is the JBI CEO and Beulah Oswald-Soto is the executive director.
The hosting country club catered, offering a variety of passed hors d’oeuvres; five food stations’ and a dessert table. For the drinks, Old New Orleans Rum and cayenne liqueur Gris Gris attracted attention.
Of course, auction ado was a big draw with a three-night stay at an Algiers Point bed-and-breakfast and Audubon Aquarium tickets (all donated by Chris and Carley Sercovich) as one of the top items. Three Parade of Prizes tables beckoned guests to try their luck.
Among the “Monte Carlo” set were Monica and Paul Dupeire, Pat Starnes, Michele L’Hoste and Randy, Stacey Shane Schott with daughter Amanda, Wendy Rodrigue (whose late husband was artist George Rodrigue), Melinda Bourgeois, Nora Vaden Holmes, Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni and Michelle, Jefferson Councilman Paul Johnston, Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng, Brenda Poulin, Debbie and Tom Mora, Debbie and Charles Settoon and famous artist Hunt Slonem (owner of some fabulous homes), Henry and Pat Shane’s guest.
Making music to forward the fun was the Get Back Band.