And now for the story behind the high five:
The Hermitage was awarded a grant! The Irene Leache Memorial Foundation (which you can read about here) was kind enough to support our efforts toward installing a new painting gallery on the second floor of the museum.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Sloane Collection has some truly spectacular paintings. When I arrived eight months ago (just eight months?) I floated the idea of centralizing our most significant pieces in a self-guided gallery where visitors could spend time with each painting. What started as an offhand brain-storming session soon morphed into reality thanks to the indefatigable work of our Executive Director Melanie Mathewes, and now with the help of Irene Leache the wheels are beginning to turn. The new gallery should be unveiled in the fall.
Yesterday evening Melanie and I went to the Chrysler Museum for a reception honoring grant recipients. It was a tasteful affair in the Tiffany gallery, and you will be happy to know that I only ate five Virginia ham biscuits (it could easily have been ten or twelve).
Congratulations again to our fellow grant recipients, the fine ladies of the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia. Many thanks to the members of our Board and Collections Committee who arrived en masse to support us.
Extra special thanks, of course, to the ladies of the Irene Leache Foundation who recognized our merit and graciously supplied the much-needed funding to turn our pipe dream into stunning reality.
I look forward to documenting the gallery installation process here. Working with our collection is like a never-ending game of high stakes musical chairs, so there are sure to be some hijinks along the way.
[As an aside: does anyone know where I can get more of those ham biscuits?]