Walters Art Museum gala reopening


October 28, 2001|By Sloane Brown

Naturally, the gala reopening of an art museum -- in this case, the Walters Art Museum -- would offer a virtual feast of visual delights. It began as soon as guests arrived in the new four-story glass entryway featuring a hanging staircase. It continued into the museum, as partygoers explored many of the newly redone galleries during the cocktail hour. The enchantment continued at dinner, as partygoers found themselves in a transparent tent that encased part of the park in Mount Vernon, from which they could gaze up at the Washington Monument. Inside, a transparent dance floor was set up over the park's fountain. Rich brocade cloths covered dozens of tables, each of which flaunted extravagant centerpieces, some chock-full of roses or lilies, others mock "palm trees" made up of edible components like eggplant, broccoli and artichokes.

The 1,000 guests themselves were a swirl of tuxedos and the latest in ball-gown fashion.

Among these human masterpieces: Sam Himmelrich Sr. and Jay Wilson, event co-chairs; Adena Testa, Walters Art Museum board chair; Dr. Robert Feinberg, Walters board president; Neal D. Borden, Phil English, Jerry Casey, John Gilmore Ford, Tony Hitschler, Charles W. Johnson and Mayo A. Shattuck III, Walters board members; Greg Barnhill, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown managing director; Chuck Nabit, Southport Financial CEO; Leslie Shepard, Baltimore School for the Arts director; Gary Sangster, Contemporary Museum director; David Cordish, Cordish Co. president / CEO; Barbara Brody, University of Maryland School of Social Work liaison officer; Patrick Kerins, Grotech Capital Group general managing partner; Donna Johnson, Injured Workers Insurance Fund vice president; Beetle Smith, Rice Kern Smith Realty principal; Bill Fine, WBAL-TV president / general manager; Theo Rodgers, A&R Development president; Barbara Bozzuto, Baltimore area marketing consultant; Pete Nagey, iPhotonics chief operating officer; Terry Morganthaler and Georgia Stamos, community volunteers; Carey Deeley, Venable partner; and Ted Millspaugh, Wilmer Cutler & Pickering partner.

The gala raised about $600,000 for the Walters Art Museum.

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