Westmoreland Society gives Gold Medal award to Children's Museum of Pittsburgh director

| Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, 8:54 p.m.

Friday's Annual Dinner Meeting and Presentation of the Westmoreland Society's Gold Medal served as a joyous family reunion of “fashion meets function,” with admins and art aficionados witnessing the coronation of Children's Museum of Pittsburgh director Jane Werner as this year's Distinguished Museum Director.

“She was a child left on the doorstep of the Children's Museum,” jested Bill Bodine Jr. as he made her introduction to guests at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art who included Peter andDiana Jannetta, Arthur andJoAnne Boyle, Barbara Luderowski andMichael Olijnyk, Thomas andLynda Waggoner, WMAA board prez Bruce andSheryl Wolf, WS prexy Barbara Nakles, George andJane Greer, Mitchell Kahan, and Donald andCarolyn Korb.

“It makes me feel old,” Werner confessed. “When I received the list of past recipients, I was sure you had the wrong Jane Werner.”

Dinner, served in the Robertshaw Gallery, better resembled an edible version of the seven deadly sins, thanks to Bob Sendall of All In Good Taste Productions. For starters, a winter salad of baby spinach and romaine was topped with herbed almonds, cranberries and a perfect touch of pumpkin vinaigrette; it was followed by a classical French cassoulet and, at the end, chocolate bread pudding.

For entertainment, the room defaulted, as it always does, to Treasurer Marty Kuzmkowski, who has a knack for transforming the status quo financial report (read: a lot of pow, not much wow) into fodder worthy of a medal of its very own. This year, his intro was done to the tune of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

“Marty only managed to offend a third of the audience,” teased WMAA director Judy O'Toole (with Kevin).

Big things are in store for the WMAA and its patrons over the next few years: The evening also marked the unveiling of the new structural and landscaping designs that will require the museum to close for two years as it undergoes renovations, set to begin in August 2013. In store is a 12,000-square-foot expansion and overall face-lift that transform the space from classic to contemporary while increasing pedestrian access. It's a collaboration between architects Tim Hartung andHolly Ross (based in NYC), and landscape architect Frederick Bonci (with Leslie).

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