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Art museum gala launches 'World's Fairs' exhibit

| Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
Curator Jason Busch during the Inventing the Modern World Gala Opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday, October 12, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Janet and Bill Hunt during the Inventing the Modern World Gala Opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday, October 12, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Dara and John Henne during the Inventing the Modern World Gala Opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday, October 12, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
John Wetenhall, Betsy Watkins and Bill Bodine during the Inventing the Modern World Gala Opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday, October 12, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Lynn and Paul Zelevansky during the Inventing the Modern World Gala Opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday, October 12, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Donna and John Peterman during the Inventing the Modern World Gala Opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday, October 12, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Jessica O'Brien and Dawn Fleischner during the Inventing the Modern World Gala Opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday, October 12, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Bill and Meghan Young during the Inventing the Modern World Gala Opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday, October 12, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review

The who's who were given a sneak peak at what an exhibit 10 years in the making looks like when the Carnegie Museum of Art kicked off the Pittsburgh opening of “Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939” with a vintage-themed black-tie gala on Friday evening.

“I snuck in this morning and had to call Jason to tell him how amazing it looked,” confessed Dolly Ellenberg.

Accolades were aplenty for co-curators Jason Busch and Catherine Futter (in from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City), as nary a word of anything but adoring praise was uttered for the 230 works of art from 45 lenders in eight countries — together for the first time.

“We're just thrilled we can celebrate with the Pittsburgh community,” Busch commented.

Formalities complete, the party made its way into the Music Hall Foyer for a wine and dine, where Bill Chisnell had crowned the space with centerpieces of red rose clusters that politely took a backseat for two towering clusters of hydrangeas, roses and hanging amaranth to dominate the scene.

“Just say it looked pretty!” he laughed.

Noshing on courses that mimicked the 1939 World's Fair menu of the Ice Terrace restaurant in the Hotel New Yorker, it was back to square one for dessert and drinks in the “Carnegie Speakeasy” for Bill andJanet Hunt, Deedee Wigmore andEmily Lenz, John andDara Henne, Nicholas andLee-Ann Bruno, Karin Jones, Chip andLynn Desmone, Ned andJo-Ann Churchill, Angela Lawler, Meghan Young, Don Hackworth, Shawn andHeather Bell, Jim andSusan Wehar, Roy andSusie Dorrance, John andDonna Peterman, Dana Dragotto, Al Dragotto, CMA director Lynn andPaul Zelevansky, and curatorial assistant Dawn Reid.

“It's a milestone for the team that put this together,” offered Carnegie Museums prez John Wetenhall. “It's communicating their understanding, and it defines others' interpretations.”

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