Morris Museum Celebrates ‘Gala’ Success

WNRR Augusta – The following information was released about Friday’s Morris Museum Gala:

Augusta, Ga.—The Fifteenth Annual Morris Museum of Art Gala, held Friday, March 7, 2008, may have introduced much that is new—among many things a redesigned format, the museum’s first-ever online auction, and an autographed keepsake from Gala artist John Baeder— but the tradition of Gala being the best party in Augusta, Georgia, remained. More than 500 of the Morris Museum’s most ardent supporters attended, and the Gala raised thousands of dollars which benefit the museum’s endowment and help to support the Morris Museum’s rich array of public programs.

The evening’s festivities began at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception in the museum’s galleries where guests mingled while viewing the popular Pleasant Journeys and Good Eats along the Way: A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings by John Baeder. Also on view, in the museum’s Coggins Gallery, was a special exhibition highlighting some of the wonderful works of art acquired by the museum through the Gala over its fifteen-year history. That exhibition remains on view through April 20, 2008.

Following the reception, guests gathered under the beautifully decorated Gala tent to enjoy the delicious, sumptuously presented, upscale diner-style fare provided by Dennis Dean catering. The menu included everything from beef tenderloin and Southern “Gritinis” with Lobster to an extensive dessert and coffee buffet.

William S. Morris III, founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Morris Museum of Art, greeted the guests with brief remarks “I’m pleased to welcome you all to the best party in Augusta!” said Mr. Morris. “We are delighted that you’re here and very grateful for your support of the Morris Museumof Art.” Mr. Morris thanked Gala chairs Molly McDowell and Braye Boardman, and all Gala committee members for their hard work, and he introduced the evening’s honoree, artist John Baeder, as well as the chairpersons for the 2009 Morris Museum Gala, Marilyn Wangsnes and Turner Simkins and the museum’s “special friend” and newest board member, Judy Norrell.

“I am frankly delighted and touched by the attention given me by the Morris Museum of Art. It is, famously, one of the leading museum’s in the Southeast,” said artist John Baeder, “and to have one’s life work recognized through the beautiful exhibition that the Morris organized is a real career capstone.”

From 8:00 p.m. to midnight partygoers danced to the music of the Del Baroni Orchestra, a mainstay of the Atlantasocial scene for more than twenty years; a silent auction, which featured such fabulous prizes as a party for fifty at the Boardman Pavilion (which includes a band and catering), two Paul Pearman custom-made mosaic belt buckles, and an exquisite piece of estate jewelry from Joel Conte’s Estate Jewelry Center was a highlight of the evening; and splendid party favors—each couple received a beautiful reproduction of  Peace Love War, a recent watercolor, personally signed by artist John Baeder – capped the evening’s festivities. It’s always a sign of a good party when the guests are reluctant to leave. No one wanted this evening to end.

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