Breaking from the past of having fashions at the Art in Bloom luncheon, this year’s Chair Barbara Daseke decided it might be more fun to have guests compete with table decorations following the presentation by British landscape historian Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan on Monday, March 21, at the Dallas Museum of Art. Wise move because the guests really got into it. Here’s a report from the field:
Luncheon chairman Barbara Daseke, with honorary chairman Linda Ivy and honoree Olivier Meslay, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, Senior Curator of European and American Art and the Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the DMA, were joined by over 260 guests at the seventeenth annual Art in Bloom, on Monday, March 21, 2016. Hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art League, proceeds from the event will benefit the DMA’s exhibition and education programs and the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund.
The festivities began with a reception in the Hamon Atrium with an opportunity to bid on amazing items in the silent auction, such as a complimentary DMA League upgraded Art Patron membership; a private tour for six with the new Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art, Nicole R. Myers, with lunch at Lark on the Park; a special three-course dinner for two with the host of Emmy Award-winning Bravo series “Top Chef,” Padma Lakshmi, in the DMA Founders Room, inspired by her favorite recipes; includes a hardcover copy of Laksmi’s book, “Love, Loss and What We Ate” and a DMA Fast Track pass; VIP access to upcoming 2016 DMA Opening Exhibition Celebrations for “Irving Penn” in April, “Concentration 60 and 61” in September, “Devine Felines” in October and more.
At the appointed time, attendees were directed to the Horchow Auditorium for remarks from this year’s featured speaker, landscape architect and landscape historian Dr.
, Gardens Advisor to Historic Royal Palaces in the United Kingdom. Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan entertained the crowd as he shared images and experiences from some of his recent projects, including The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace Gardens and The Crown Estate, as well as the redesign of Kensington Palace Gardens, the eleven-acre pleasure ground around the palace, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.
Afterward, patrons returned to the Museum’s Atrium for a seated lunch featuring tables dressed with beautiful linens and tabletops courtesy of POSH Couture Rentals, this year’s luxury rental sponsor, with floral centerpieces from David Kimmel Design.
Six tables featured original tablescapes as part of the inaugural table design competition, using the theme “International” as their inspiration. Table design competitors included Barbara Bigham, Faye Briggs, Barbara Daseke, Dr Delphinium, POSH Couture Rentals and Jewel Williams. Judged by Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan, Jewel Williams’ tablescape, designed by floral designer Mami Driscoll with collaboration from Stephen Frels with Stella Fine Flowers, was selected as the winning design with a prize of a three-day spree for two in London, complete with exceptional accommodations, a lunch at Clarke’s Restaurant and a private tour with Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan of Kensington Palace and other historic Palace Gardens.
Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch of butter lettuce salad with sherry vinaigrette and thyme blossoms for their first course, followed by an entrée of crispy Cornish hen with truffle spring pea puree, pea tendrils and garnished with nasturtiums. As dessert of white and dark chocolate mousse tart with hazelnut brittle was served, the live auction, with Heritage Auctions auctioneer Kristen Schultz, began featuring items such as a Judith Leiber jeweled egg-shaped minaudières, a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the DMA’s Painting Conservation Studio with chief conservator Mark Leonard, dinner at Lark on the Park, reserved seating for two at the DMA Arts & Letters Live presentation of “Dutch Masters & Deceit” and more; and an extravagant night on the town for two including a one-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton, dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille and a box at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra with transportation proved by United Limo.
As lunch came to an end, guests lined up to meet Dr. Longstaffe-Gowan as he signed his recent book, “The London Square.”
Art in Bloom International attendees included Honorary Chair Linda Ivy, Dallas Museum of Art League President Jewel Williams, Underwriting Chair Barbara Durham, Auction Chair Cecelia Otiniano-Moore, Barbara Bigham, Margaret McDermott, Margot Perot, Charlene Marsh, Holly Huffines, Robin Carreker, Sheila Durante, Jennifer Houser, Connie Carreker, Mary McDermott Cook, Beverly Freeman, Susan Fisk, Jill Goldberg, Faye Briggs, Libby Swindle, Betsy Waggoner and Ann Dyer.
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron