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Philanthropic Fun: Spain’s Lasting Legacy

An exclusive preview of the Cabildo’s first major exhibition in 25 years retold the story of Spain’s massive influence on New Orleans’ and America’s history.

Semmes Favrot, Catherine Favrot, Caroline Calhoun and Murray Calhoun

The Cabildo, enveloped in a flurry of red and gold, Spanish music, cuisine and even period costumes, transported 500 patrons back to Spanish Colonial Louisiana at the exclusive viewing of “Recovered Memories” before it opened the next day to the general public. Guests were treated to a magnificent 7,000 square foot exhibition on all three of the Cabildo’s floors, showcasing hundreds of historic artifacts, documents, costumes, and works of art from Spanish and U.S. museums, archives and private collections, including pieces which have never been publicly exhibited before.

The opening reception welcomed more than 50 international senior level dignitaries, ambassadors and foreign diplomats from across the globe. Attendees also included state and local officials, Louisiana Museum Foundation members and supporters, special guests from various Spanish interest and arts and museum organizations, and officials from IBERDROLA, a multinational Spanish energy company, and its U.S. subsidiary AVANGRID, in association with the Louisiana State Museum.

Stationed at the Cabildo’s entrance gates to greet guests upon their arrival were reenactment Spanish Soldiers Paul Bergeron and Stephen Estopinal, authentically dressed in period costumes. Ladies in Canary Islander-inspired dress also greeted guests as they walked under the portico on a red carpet past an authentic Spanish cannon and a paparazzi photo-site, complete with a step and repeat. Waiters offered guests chilled sparkling rose and cava blanc while a harpist played romantic tunes as guests entered the exhibition.

Cuisine by Educated Palate included delicious Spanish-inspired fare crafted by Nora Wetzel and Gallician Chef Andres Rodriquez. Each full bar featured an array of Spanish inspired wines, cavas and themed libations compliments of the Goldring Family Foundation and Sazerac. The Spanish Flame was the specialty cocktail.

Patrice Fisher on harp and Fran Comiskey on keyboard played lovely Spanish melodies and other tunes as guests arrived under the Cabildo’s arcade. Paky Saavedra, an acoustic guitarist and vocalist, serenaded guests also with romantic Spanish melodies in the outside courtyard and Javier Olondo, a locally renowned classical Spanish guitarist and Tulane instructor, played beautiful Spanish guitar music on the second floor inside gallery overlooking Jackson Square.

The Louisiana Museum Foundation, the major donor support arm of the Louisiana State Museum, was pleased to organize the event.


Event at a Glance

What: “Recovered Memories: Spain, New Orleans, and the Support for the American Revolution Exhibition Opening Reception,” benefiting Louisiana Museum Foundation
When: Friday, April 20
Where: The Cabildo


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