The party, “O What A Night,” which benefits the Odgen Museum of Southern Art, takes its name from a song. But the event extends over two nights beginning as many do with a patron party held on the first night, this year at the gracious home of George and Fran Villere.
The main event – attended by as many patrons as one-night party-goers – moved from cocktails and a silent auction at the Patrick F. Taylor Library at Lee Circle, to the Stephen Goldring Hall on Camp Street, to a tent adjacent to Goldring Hall. Entertainment ran from the Emmanuel Gospel Group to Preservation Hall’s Jazz Band with John Boutte to Wardell Quezergue’s Big Band.
Museum board chair, Julia Reed, no doubt had a hand in luring Sotheby’s auctioneer Jamie Niven down from New York as well as others, who enjoyed a double-dip Crescent City weekend taking in the Ogden event Saturday night and then a brunch and lecture by author and decorator Bunny. Former New Orleanian Jeffery Guice flew in from Connecticut as a show of support for Virginia Saussy, who served as co-chair with Robin Burgess.
Roger Odgen, for whom the museum is named, was spotted previewing artwork, much of it photography, over cocktails – one created for the evening by the Swizzle Stick Bar – and hors d’oeuvres by Chef John Besh. Dinner was a hearty fare created for the event by Chef Stephen Stryjewski of Cochon.
The well-known architect Arthur Q. Davis, FAIA was honored with The Opus Award designed by Mignon Faget. His wife Mary and other family joined the entire group in a long-standing ovation as a tribute to his many contributions to modern architecture. Then, Niven started a lively auction of art works over dessert from Commander’s Palace and little confections from Sucré.
1. Roger Ogden at the Preview Party
2. Chris Fransen and Rebecca Singley at the Preview Party, which they co-chaired
3. Bill Dunlap, Ed McGowin, Ogden Director Rick Gruber and Claudia DeMonte
4. Louise Schreiner and UNO Chancellor Tim Ryan
5. Arthur Q. Davis (right) gets a congratulatory kiss from his daughter Pam Friedler
6. George Villere and Jane Goldring at the Preview Party, held at the Villere home.
7. Lolis Eric Elie, Stephanie Durant and Robin Durant
8. Ogden Board Chair Julia Reed, Jamie Niven and
9. Ambassador John Palmer (center) with his daughters Patricia McClure and Susan Amaro