Palm Springs Art Museum Marks 75th Anniversary

$1.8 million raised from evening honoring board chair Harold Meyerman

(From left) Steve and Carol Nash with Dorothy and Harold Meyerman at the Palm Springs Art Museum's 75th Anniversary Gala.

Photo by Lani Garfield


The Palm Springs Art Museum celebrated its 75th anniversary at a glittering event that showcased the museum’s present, past, and future while honoring Board Chairman Harold Meyerman.

Eight hundred attendees raised $1.8 million to guarantee the museum’s future.

Thanks to the planning of co chairs Harold Matzner, Barbara Keller, Roberta Holland, and Jim Casey plus the design wizadry of Shari Kelley, guests were imported into a sparkling fairytale setting. An archway of thousands of twinkling lights, a white carpet, and standing Lucite pillars framed the entrance from the curb to the Ballroom. (Yes, it was the Palm Springs Convention Center, but it was not recognizable).

Inside, guests greeted one another and Fe Zandi received compliments for the magnificent gowns she had created for Donna MacMillan and Dorothy Meyerman, wife of board chairman Harold Meyrman.

Board members congratulated Carol Frankel Cohen for the fine job she did as creative director and Author of the 75-year history of the museum, one of two beautiful books on the museum history and art content given each guest.

In the dining room, art was everywhere - on video screens with images of the art found in the museum. The screens were used to showcase the museum’s collections, its supporting councils, and to thank all major donors starting with Double Diamond contributors Harold Matzner and Donna MacMillan; Diamond donors the AMG Foundation, Annette Bloch, Helene Galen, JoAnn McGrath, Dorothy and Harold Meyerman, Stacey and Greg Renker, Faye and Herman Sarkowsky, Arlene Schnitzer, the Wells Fargo Foundation, and Platinum contributors Katherine and Judd Malkin. Gold and Silver donors were also listed with equal importance on the screen.

Large white orchids and roses served as table centerpieces placed on white sequence cloths. There was excitement at the tables about the success of the new Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert and the Architectural Design Center that will open next fall.

But most of the praise was given to Harold Meyerman, who was credited with taking the museum from financial disaster when he became board chair to its current stability with millions set aside in reserves to safeguard the museum’s future.

Sprinkled between the short speeches and video praise for each of the museum councils was a stand-out performance by Live It Up Productions. Their renditions blended with the art on the screens, starting with Les Miserables led by two of the singers who began from the audience and made their way to the stage, later joined by the entire troop on stage. Staging and production by Richard De Santis was perfection as Live It Up Productions created live art on stage that came to life in both song and dance.

This stunning show, with 12 Broadway accredited performers, included a reenactment of the famous work by Georges Seurat in the musical Sunday in the Park with George. The finale found the performers coming out from behind the screen as the Seurat park scene lifted.

Stephanie J. Block, Tony nominated singer, ended on a high note with the Live It Up performers behind her.

The evening was comparable to any admired event in New York City, San Francisco, or Washington D.C. – just as art at Palm Springs Art Museum, made possible through gifts and loans from distinguished supporters, rivals collections found in large urban area museums.

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