Art museum draws a crowd for annual Carnegie Trees display

| Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

'Tis the season for unveiling the Christmas tree ... the 20-foot-tall Christmas tree ... that started being mentally decorated last Christmas.

“Oh, we started thinking about it a year ago and began working on it in June,” shared Mernie Berger of the “Architectural Icons of the World's Fair”-themed tree she decorated with Lowrie Ebbert and that is on display at the Carnegie Museum of Art for the annual Carnegie Trees party. Hosted by the CMA Women's Committee and co-chaired by Melissa Ferrari and Tara Safar, each of the seven towering pines were inspired by the World's Fair as a nod to the museum's current exhibit.

“Stunning! Impressive!” Safar exclaimed. “It's hard for me, seeing these, to imagine what I'm going to do at home.”

No pressure to measure up — although, thanks to collaborations from Jesse Kowalski and the Andy Warhol Museum, Nancy Lewis and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, CaroleKamin and her enlisted family members, Laura Beattie and Elisabeth Braughler and the Frick Art & Historical Center, Michael Sexauer and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and Cynthia Cooley and Suzanne McLaughlin — the thought of those dusty bulbs in the basement did seem somewhat sad in comparison.

Meanwhile, back in the Hall of Sculpture, uncorked champagne bottles brought together a reported 500 guests including Jay andRanny Ferguson, Ann Bridges, Sheryl Broadhurst, Barbara Granito, Eric Shiner, Peggy McKnight (in a fantastic vintage Geoffrey Beene ensemble), Dr. Helene Finegold andChuck Gottschalk, Tracy Weigand andBen Luffey, Sam Taylor, Tim McVay andDavid Bush, and CMA's Jason Busch, who was making the quite the lasting impression thanks to his recycled redwood tree bow tie.

“Why not be festive for the holiday?” he smiled.

Now in it's 51st year, Carnegie Trees has unofficially marked the start of the holiday social season since 1961.

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