Newport Art Museum Celebrates Its Centennial with a Gala Gala

 A hundred years of art, and more! The Newport Art Museum, the architecturally wonderful old Griswold House used in the film based on a Henry James novel, "The Americans",  celebrated its 100th birthday with a Centennial Gala this summer - and barely looked a day over 45! With one hundred and ten works on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), the museum's walls were decked with stunning and unusual pieces.

In the evening's program, it said, "The Museum, like any cultural institution, only truly comes alive when people are part of the fabric of its existence; without people, museums are containers that hold valuable objects and records of the past." Certainly the party's attendees brought much of the life, character, and flair to the event - an elegantly colorful crowd of artists, art admirers, and museum supporters. We saw artist Bill Jacklin and Janet Russo-Jacklin, Jean and Vincent DiBona, Roger Begin and daugher Stephanie, Louis Fazzano and Constance Evrard, Jonathan and Bettie Pardee, Sandra Ourosoff, Carrie and Jan Slee, Richard Crisson, Carol Ballard, and more interested, and culturally supportive, Newporters..

The event started with cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres in the main gallery. It then moved to a beautiful outdoor tent for seated dinner. Lights were hung all around the tent which changed colors, bathing the interior in an kaleidoscopic palette of hues. Board President Rod O'Hanley and museum Executive Director Lisa Goddard both spoke, welcoming guests and delineating some of the museum's history, pointing out past presidents and directors, the earliest of which took office in 1961, and then offering an update on current happenings and the people involved.


Russell Morin catering provided an heirloom tomato verrine for the first course, followed by a black angus filet of beef with whipped potatoes and summer vegetables. Each table had in its center a birthday cake which many reported was quite delicious after they nibbled before the main course.  The live auction went well, drawing in bids on items such as VIP Celtics tickets, a Marrakech estate vacation, a William Heydt Portrait, and also a chance to offer a bid for general "birthday wishes for the museum." After dinner, the Mac Chrupcala orchestra got the dance floor moving with up-tempo favorites with singer Lee Brown as front man.


The gala accomplished its centennial fundraising goals, setting a new record for the museum with $260,000 in donations.


                                                                        -- Amanda M. Grosvenor


To learn more about the Newport Art Museum, visit











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