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Olivier Meslay, honoree, Barbara Daseke, Art in Bloom chairman, Linda Ivy, honorary chair and featured speaker Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

The Dallas Museum of Art League hosted a successful Art in Bloom International on Monday, March 21, 2016.  Luncheon chairman Barbara Daseke, with honorary chairman Linda Ivy, 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, and Jewel Williams, the DMA League President, were joined by over 260 guests at the seventeenth annual fundraiser.  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 Lakshmi’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, and Devine Felines in October; and more.

Attendees were then directed to the Horchow Auditorium for remarks where after a brief introduction by Olivier Meslay,  featured speaker, landscape architect and landscape historian Dr. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Gardens Advisor to Historic Royal Palaces in the United Kingdom, took the stage.  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. 

Following, 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 of 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 auctioneer Kimberly Serrano from Heritage Auctions, 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 your own personal 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.  As they were departing, luncheon-goers received a box of chocolate truffles from Chocolate Secrets as a thank you for their support of this year’s Art in Bloom.

Art in Bloom International attendees included:  Barbara Daseke, Art in Bloom chairman; honorary chairman Linda Ivy; Jewel Williams, Dallas Museum of Art League president; 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 Dallas Museum of Art; underwriting chairman Barbara Durham; Cecilia Otiniano-Moore, auction chair; 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 C. Briggs; Libby Swindle; Betsy Waggoner; and Ann Dyer.

About the Dallas Museum of Art League

Founded in 1938, the League is celebrating 76 years of contributions through volunteer work for the Museum, art acquisitions and the support of key endowment funds. 

The League has participated in the acquisition of approximately 100 works of art for the Museum.  In addition, the Dallas Museum of Art League has supported special exhibitions, education, exhibition endowments, Late Nights and Thursday Night Live and contributes to the Endowment Fund.

About the Dallas Museum of Art 

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 23,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than two million visitors, and enrolled more than 100,000 people in DMA Friends,a free program available to anyone who wishes to join focused on active engagement with the Museum. For more information, visit

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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