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For Immediate Release
Lee Ortega, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Phone: 305.673.7530
Fax: 305.673.7062

The Imperial Banquet


The Bass Museum of Art's Sumptuous Imperial Banquet
Drew Miami's Art Lovers to View Exquisite Asian Jade

On November 4, 2006, the Bass Museum of Art and the Princess Thi-Nga Foundation presented The Imperial Banquet, a lavish prelude to the exhibition of The Private Jade Collection of Her Imperial Highness Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam, scheduled to open at the Museum on February 8, 2007. It will be the first public showing of this private collection and will be dedicated to the memory of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Gia Long, founder of Vietnam, the Princess' great-great-great grandfather.

Guests were introduced to the Princess upon arrival, and as they viewed the selection of rare jade carvings, liveried butlers served Kir Imperial, the traditional cocktail served at Princess Thi-Nga's residence. The banquet tables, arranged in traditional Imperial court fashion, were set in the Museum's foyer where the exquisite gold and white décor evoked a lush Asian ambiance. Spectacular floral arrangements overflowed the tables with cascading orchids and lotus flowers flown in from Asia that day, just for the occasion.

Museum Director Diane Camber welcomed the 100 guests, introduced Her Imperial Highness Princess Thi-Nga and thanked the Princess for arranging every detail of the exquisite evening and for her dedication to the arts and the Bass Museum. Waiters in “tails” and white gloves impeccably served the banquet courses that were a blend of Eastern and Western flavors.

Classical Asian musicians and dancers performed for the guests throughout the evening, beginning with “The Dance of Blessing,” an elegant court dance from the Royal Court of Thailand. The New World Symphony performed a duet of harp and violin by Marguerite Lynn Williams and Sunno Kim in honor of the Princess' Jade Collection. Lion Dancers, in vivid costumes, performed an electrifying dance accompanied by Asian drummers; and a fifty-foot long dragon, the Imperial symbol, propelled by ten dancers undulated down the Museum's grand ramp in a stunning presentation.

After decadent desserts, guests were escorted to the Museum courtyard where they released live Monarch Butterflies, individually enclosed in a uniquely crafted box. According to Imperial tradition, one whispers a wish to the Monarch Butterfly prior to releasing it. In gratitude for the kind gesture, the lovely creature will take it to the Heavens where one's wish would be granted.

The Imperial Banquet was produced by I.M.P.A.C.T., a division of Imperial Holdings International, and was generously underwritten by The Princess Thi-Nga Foundation and H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam. Proceeds will further the Bass Museum's mission to collect, preserve and exhibit visual arts, and a portion will benefit UNESCO's efforts toward the restoration of The Imperial City of Hue, Vietnam.


Her Imperial Highness
Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam

Kitty Higginbotham & Miami Beach
Mayor David Dermer

Nora Bulnes and H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga

Diane Camber, Executive Director
of Bass Museum, with
H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga

Mayor David Dermer &
H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga

Marshall & Carole Langer

Gonzalo Acevedo & Carolyn Gardener

Amparo Angel & Brigitte Nachtigall

Luis & Elisa Gosselin, Ana & Dr. Arturo Hernandez
Lion Dancers

Mrs. Olga Connor & Dr. Gil Fernan

Sonja Gibson & Deborah Slack

Jade sculptures
"Quan Yen" jade sculpture, symbolizing kindness and wisdom

Dr. Pedro & Gloria Portal

Gladys Rodriguez-Dod & Nora Bulnes

Guests enjoyed Kir Imperial -- champagne with lichee

Monarch Butterfly

Michael & Gil Pelissier of Moet

Thai Dance of Blessing

Table setting

New World Symphony performers

Denise Wolpert, Lee Ortega

Melanie & Bill Cohen

The Dining Table