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For Immediate Release
Lee Ortega, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Phone: 305.673.7530
Fax: 305.674.5475




February 8, 2007

MIAMI BEACH, FL - (February 12, 2007) – On the evening of Friday, February 8, the Bass Museum presented The Private Jade Collection of Her Imperial Highness Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam. Guests were introduced to Princess Thi-Nga upon arrival, and enjoyed a private cocktail reception in the lavish setting enhanced by spectacular floral arrangements by Petal Productions. Kir Imperial, the traditional cocktail blending Champagne and Lytchee liquor, served at Princess Thi-Nga's residence was served to the special guests, while the entertainment for the evening commenced with the stunning “Dance of the Blessing” from the Royal Court of Thailand.

Mayor David Dermer installed Princess Thi-Nga as the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees and President of the Board of Directors. "We are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to view this private collection in Miami Beach for the first time," commented Mayor David Dermer." The exhibition reflects the Bass Museum's commitment to enhancing the cultural landscape of our City, and Princess Thi-Nga's passion for the arts which is greatly contributing to this effort."

The new Directors of the Board of the Bass Museum were sworn in, upon which the Executive Director and Chief Curator, Diane Camber, graciously welcomed the newly elected slate of officers, new and continuing members to the board of Directors.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, a spectacular fifty-foot long dragon led guests up the Grand Ramp to the Gertrude Silverstein Muss Gallery where they enjoyed an exclusive private tour of the exhibition with H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam.

While H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga’s jade collection numbers more than five hundred objects, the Bass Museum’s exhibition particularly emphasized from the Qing era, The Golden Age of Jade carving. As the exhibition is dedicated H.I.M. Emperor Gia Long, the selection of objects featured in this exhibition also reflect the “Golden Era” of the Nguyen Dynasty, from 1802 to 1945.

“Collecting—not only jade—has been my family’s passion, it is a privilege to share our cultural heritage and legacy with this community” says the H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga. Members of the Imperial Family of Vietnam have always been great patrons of the arts.

The Dragon led guests down the Grand Ramp to the Taplin Gallery where musicians from the New World Symphony – Americas Orchestral Academy performed an “East Meets West” repertoire. After the performances, guests where led out to Collins Park where a grand procession to The Setai commenced. The Dragon dancers led the way, along with the electrifying lion dancers, the guests, and a live Indian elephant flanked by five jaguar automobiles. Princess Thi-Nga and Major Dermer rode together across Collins Park in a convertible Jaguar.

Guests enjoyed the Imperial Supper, graciously sponsored by The Setai, which consisted of four sumptuous courses created especially for the occasion, prepared by Chef Shaun Hergatt. The Thai Dancers performed the “Dance of Lights” for the special guests and the Princess.

Princess Thi-Nga then performed a beautiful Imperial ceremony “the present of the silk” by wrapping Mayor Dermer, Dr. Jaffe and Executive Director Diane Camber in exquisite silk brocade scarves depicting Imperial dragons and phoenixes. This Confucian tradition recognizes those with great achievements and who are descended or have descendents who contribute in a similar endeavor-- in this case government, medicine, and the arts were represented by Mayor Dermer, Dr. Jaffe, and Executive Director Diane Camber. In this tradition, Princess Thi-Nga herself continues the legacy of her late parents and ancestor Emperor Gia Long in fostering the arts.

The exhibition is under the auspices of The Princess Thi-Nga Foundation and is dedicated to the memory of the Princess’ great-great-great grandfather, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Gia Long, founder of Vietnam and the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). Emperor Gia Long built the Imperial City in Hue, Vietnam which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The works selected for the Bass Museum exhibition reflect the time period of his Dynasty.

The Private Jade Collection of Her Imperial Highness Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam is on view at the Bass Museum of Art through April 29, 2007, and will travel nationally and internationally.


The Bass Museum of Art gratefully acknowledges the support
of the following sponsors for the Imperial Celebration

The Princess Thi-Nga Foundation

The Setai

The Setai Group

Petal Productions

The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy

Jaguar of America

Photos below are of the event. Click on image to enlarge.

Princess Thi-Nga and Imperial Guards

Joel and Monica Hoppenstein

Michael Gongora and
H.I.H. Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam

Installation of Board and Directors of Friends of the Bass Museum. From left to right: Mayor David Dermer, Vincent DeSimone, Dr. Norman Jaffe, Leonard Miller, Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam, Florence Hecht, Sheila Elias Taplin, Joyce Kaiser, Executive Director Diane Camber, Jerry Chasen and Jim Horowitz. Board Members not pictured include: Walid Sfeir, Elisa Gosselin, Deborah Slack and Honorary Board Members, Melanie Muss, Sue Miller and Nora Bulnes.

Patrick Pecoraro and Ray Breslin
Mayor David Dermer and Princess Thi-Nga performing ribbon cutting ceremony Guests Ascending Grand Ramp
to view collection

Installation view of jade collection

Princess Thi-Nga conducting
private tour

Detail of Urn-The Private Jade Collection of Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam

Lion and Thai dancers leading
guests down the Grand Ramp

Performance by members of
New World Symphony

Reception for Members

George Neary of GMCVB with
Thai Dancers

Denise Wolpert and Lee Ortega

Imperial Procession to the Setai

Princess Thi-Nga and Mayor Dermer

Thai dancers leading procession
down 22nd Street to Collins

Imperial Elephant on Collins Avenue

Executive Director Diane Camber,
Mayor Dermer and Princess Thi-Nga

Imperial setting for dinner at the Setai

Michael and Debbie Flacks

The Setai South Beach

Jorge Perez and Darlene Perez

Mayor Dermer presenting key to the city to former Chairman Dr. Jaffe

Mayor Dermer presenting
Executive Director Diane Camber
with key to the city

Mayor Dermer presenting
Princess Thi-Nga key to the city

Key to the city

Mayor Dermer receives
"present of the silk"
Executive Director Diane Camber receives "present of the silk"

Former Chairman Dr. Jaffe
receives "present of the silk"

Hans Meir and Rebecca Meir

Deborah Slack, Executive Director Diane Camber and Sonia Gibson

Dancers from the The Royal Court of Thailand performed "The Dance of the Lights" for guests at the Setai during dinner

Imperial setting at The Setai