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Hands Across the Water

Bowers Officials Would Like to Establish Relationship With British Museum

October 12, 2000|ANN CONWAY

Visionaries with the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art have set their sights on bringing a satellite of London's British Museum to Santa Ana.

That was the buzz at the black-tie gala preview Friday of the Bowers' new exhibit, "Egyptian Treasures From the British Museum," which runs through Jan 2.

"I would love to have a formal relationship with the British Museum," Bowers President Peter Keller said during a reception and buffet supper catered by Patina. "We want to see how this exhibit goes . . . and, if the two institutions feel comfortable with each other, we'll go on to bigger things."

The plan: Display examples of cultural art from the British Museum at the Bowers that could move on to arts institutions around the world.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday October 13, 2000 Orange County Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Metro Desk 1 inches; 17 words Type of Material: Correction
Photo caption--The names of Shari Esayian and Sandra McGovern were transposed on Thursday's Orange County People page.

"The British Museum is an international museum that holds the world's cultures," observed Vivian Davies, the British Museum's keeper of Egyptian

antiquities. "It's very appropriate that we should be in the United States, a country with which England has enormously strong ties."

After the reception in the courtyard, members of the museum toured the exhibit containing more than 100 Egyptian treasures spanning 3,000 years.

On view: Everything from a gold royal bracelet inlaid with precious stones to a mummified cat.

Among guests were arts philanthropist Sharon Lesk--who held a private dinner last week for Davies and his wife, Egyptologist Renee Friedman, at the Center Club in Costa Mesa. About 75 people dined on salmon and filet of beef at the affair, organized to welcome the couple to Orange County and show them "the enthusiasm this community has for the arts," Lesk said.

Lesk, a resident of London, is working with Keller to bring the satellite to the Bowers. "It would be the only satellite of the British Museum in the world," she said. "The British Museum needs Orange County as much as we need it because what we offer is youth and enthusiasm. We're all very excited about the possibilities."

For exhibit information: (714) 567-3600.

Lunch alfresco

Opera buffs gathered on the lawn at the French-style home of Broadcom founder Henry Samueli and wife Susan on Tuesday for a luncheon celebrating Opera Pacific's upcoming gala, "Space Odyssey 2001." Proceeds of about $30,000 from the event will go toward underwriting the costs of the ball on Feb. 3.

About 300 people dined on chicken and artichoke salad under large white parasols set out on the tony waterfront property in Corona del Mar. Guests also viewed a parade of fall and winter fashions from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

Opera benefactor Susan Samueli--co-chairwoman of the gala with Sandi Jackson--said the gala would feature a futuristic theme and entertainment reflective of her musical tastes. "We'll start out with Strauss waltzes and musical elements from Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey,' " she said. "Then, as the party goes on, we'll get into opera, popular music and by the end of the evening, we'll be into alternative rock."

The dress code? "Futuristic black-tie," Jackson said.

The gala will also feature a live auction with a trip for two on the Samuelis' Gulfstream4 jet.

Destination? An opera, of course. For gala information: (714) 546-6000.

Home for the holidays

Hundreds of supporters of Orange County's High School for the Arts gathered at Roger's Gardens in Corona del Mar last week for a benefit preview of the popular nursery's holiday decor fantasy.

Guests shopped for decorative ornaments displayed on 27 trees, sampled fare from restaurants such as the Ritz and the Five Crowns, and watched students from the school perform in the gardens.

Designers at Roger's Gardens have steered clear of contemporary design elements, preferring to evoke a sense of nostalgia with glass ornaments, fruit wreaths, gold and silver icicles, cranberry and popcorn garlands, and creches.

"A lot of people are getting into wild green, turquoise and purple ornaments in their decorating this year, but that has no meaning for me," said Eric Cortina, creative director at Roger's Gardens. "I like Christmas to be meaningful, traditional."

Decorating two trees for the home is becoming a holiday tradition for many families, Cortina noted. A tree decorated with nostalgic ornaments such as those made by young children is often placed in the family room. "The decorator tree, with the fancy ornaments, usually goes in the living room," he said.

A new trend is finding its way into homes for the holidays. "People are putting Christmas trees in their kitchens--after all, that's where they spend a lot of their time," Cortina said.

Another opening, another show

* The UC Irvine School of the Arts invites the public to see the high-tech Donald R. and Joan F. Beall Center for Art and Technology from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday. The 3,300-square-foot gallery and research center for new media arts will enable professionals from disparate fields of study--including engineering, the arts and computer science--to participate in collaborative art and design projects using digital technology.

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