Installation of Board and Directors of Friends of the Bass Museum. From left to right: Mayor David Dermer, Vincent DeSimone, Dr. Norman Jaffe, Leonard Miller, Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam, Florence Hecht, Sheila Elias Taplin, Joyce Kaiser, Executive Director Diane Camber, Jerry Chasen and Jim Horowitz. Board Members not pictured include: Walid Sfeir, Elisa Gosselin, Deborah Slack and Honorary Board Members, Melanie Muss, Sue Miller and Nora Bulnes.
Mayor David Dermer and Princess Thi-Nga
Officially Open the Exhibition
George Neary of GMCVB with Thai Dancers
Princess Thi-Nga Gives Private Tour of Exhibition
On the evening of Friday, February 8, the Bass Museum presented The Private Jade Collection of Her Imperial Highness Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam. Guests were introduced to Princess Thi-Nga upon arrival and enjoyed a private cocktail reception in the lavish setting enhanced by spectacular floral arrangements by Petal Productions. Kir Imperial, the traditional champagne and lytchee liquer cocktail, served at Princess Thi-Nga's residence, was served as guests enjoyed the stunning "Dance of the Blessing" from the Royal Court of Thailand.
Mayor David Dermer installed the new Directors of the Board of Trustees and Princess Thi-Nga as its new Chairman and President of the Board of Directors. "We are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to view this private collection in Miami Beach for the first time," commented the Mayor." The exhibition reflects the Bass Museum's commitment to enhancing the city's cultural landscape and Princess Thi-Nga's passion for the arts."
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, a spectacular fifty-foot long dragon led guests up the Grand Ramp to the Gertrude Silverstein Muss Gallery where they enjoyed an exclusive private tour of the exhibition with H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga. While the jade collection numbers more than five hundred objects, the Bass Museum's exhibition particularly emphasizes the Qing era, The Golden Age of Jade Carving. Dedicated to H.I.M. Emperor Gia Long, this exhibition also reflects the "Golden Era" of the Nguyen Dynasty, from 1802 to 1945.
"Collecting - not only jade - has been my family's passion. it is a privilege to share our cultural heritage and legacy with this community," says the H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga. Members of the Imperial Family of Vietnam have always been great patrons of the arts.
The Dragon led guests down the Grand Ramp to the Taplin Gallery where musicians from the New World Symphony performed an "East Meets West" repertoire. Following the performance, guests began the grand procession through Collins Park to The Setai. The Dragon dancers led the way for the guests, along with the electrifying lion dancers and a live Indian elephant flanked by five Jaguar automobiles.
Guests enjoyed the Imperial Supper, graciously sponsored by The Setai, with four sumptuous courses created especially for the occasion by Chef Shaun Hergatt. The Thai Dancers performed the "Dance of Lights" for the special guests and the Princess.
In a traditional Imperial ceremony, "the present of the silk," Princess Thi-Nga wrapped Mayor Dermer, Dr. Norman Jaffe and Director Diane Camber in exquisite silk brocade scarves depicting Imperial dragons and phoenixes. This Confucian tradition recognizes those with great achievements, who have descendents who contribute in a similar endeavor -- in this case government, medicine, and the arts were represented. In this tradition Princess Thi-Nga herself continues the legacy of her late parents and great-great great grandfather H.I.M. Emperor Gia Long in fostering the arts.
The exhibition is under the auspices of The Princess Thi-Nga Foundation and is dedicated to the memory of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Gia Long, founder of Vietnam and the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). Emperor Gia Long built the Imperial City in Hue, Vietnam which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The works selected for the Bass Museum exhibition reflect the time period of his Dynasty.
The Private Jade Collection of Her Imperial Highness Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam is on view at the Bass Museum of Art through April 29, 2007, and will travel nationally and internationally.
The Bass Museum of Art gratefully acknowledges the support of the following sponsors for the Imperial Celebration:
The Princess Thi-Nga Foundation
The Setai Group
The New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy
Jaguar of America