Alain Bernard of Van Cleef & Arpels, Angela and Jim Hsu, Angela Hsu, Anne Shih, Bowers Museum, Britt Meyer, China Southern Airlines, China's Lost Civilization, City of Santa Ana, D. Diane Anderson, East West Bank, Edward Roski of Majestic Realty, Elizabeth An, Franz Collection, Jason Cropp, Lynn Liou, Mary and John tu, Mei-Yen Chang, Panda Restaurant Group, Peter Keller, The James Irvine Foundation, the Mystery of Sanxingdui, Wayne Foster Entertainment
It’s not too late to drop by Bowers Museum in Santa Ana to view the remarkable exhibit, “China’s Lost Civilization, the Mystery of Sanxingdui.” It closes March, 15, 2015. The opening night gala, which debuted the stunning, nearly 4,000 year-old bronze exhibit, drew 330 guests to the Bowers, which is known for showcasing spectacular exhibits, in particular, the “Forbidden City” and the “Terra Cotta Warriors” – twice! Long time supporter Anne Shih – I call her Bowers’ “First Lady” – is the museum’s Board of Governors Chairman, as well as its Chinese Arts Council President. She has been responsible for bringing blockbuster exhibits to Bowers from Beijing, Taiwan and Tibet for years. She worked tirelessly to bring “China’s Lost Civilization” to the museum, along with Bowers President Peter Keller, who readily acknowledges her success in securing major exhibits and in raising funds to pay for them. Guests were wowed by the 120-piece exhibit, discovered in 1986 and acknowledged by many scholars as one of the greatest archaeological finds ever unearthed in China. The exhibition’s monumental bronzes, unlike anything ever seen before, were created by a culture that appears to have thrived around 1200 BC and after 350 years, abruptly vanished. The seven-foot elongated bronze figure and the bronze heads wearing gold masks were standouts. There were also hammered gold discs, ivory tusks and jade. An elegant champagne reception opened the gala and showcased some world-class silent auction items, one of which was an exquisite porcelain vase from the Franz Collection (see photo). Following the exhibition viewing, guests gathered in the museum’s central, tree-lined courtyard, where the Panda Restaurant Group offered a traditional 10-course Chinese repast. It was delicious! Gorgeous Lynn Liou, publisher of Phoenix International Magazine, was the perfect mistress of ceremonies, looking absolutely regal in her scarlet gown. Among those thanked were the exhibition’s major donors, who included Mary and John Tu, Angela and Jim Hsu, China Southern Airlines, Panda Restaurant Group, Van Cleef & Arpels, The James Irvine Foundation, East West Bank, and the City of Santa Ana. Also recognized were the gala’s Honorary Chairs – Alain Bernard, Van Cleef & Arpels President/CEO Americas, and Edward Roski, Majestic Realty President and Chairman. And, not to be left out were the dedicated gala co-chairs, all elegantly attired, who included D. Diane Anderson, Elizabeth An, Mei-Yen Chang, Angela Hsu, and Britt Meyer. Who wouldn’t want this dynamic quintet on your team? Add Anne Shih to the mix, and you are rockin’! The evening segued into dancing, with music provided by Wayne Foster Entertainment and Papa Foster at his signature white grand piano. A cadre of singers entertained with passion and talent, among them Jason Cropp, who took my breath away with his rendition of John Legend’s “All of Me.” Make a beeline to see “China’s Lost Civilization: The Mystery of Sanxingdui” before it closes on March 15th. For museum info on days and hours, visit bowers.org.com.