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Indian Art Draws a Crowd

Times Staff Writer

It wasn’t just the city lights, so pretty from the Southwest Museum the other night, that 400 black-tie and fancy-dress guests were talking about. It was the vibrant, colorful and contemporary art of Native American painters in the white-walled gallery off the museum patio.

The oils and mixed media of Joe Baker, David Bradley, Harry Fonseca, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, G. Peter Jemison, Dan Namingha, Randy Lee White and Emmi Whitehorse--inspired by their cultural and geographical backgrounds ranging from Eastern Iroquois to Western Hopi--were the central focus of a show that runs through Jan. 5.

Director Patrick T. Houlihan and his vivacious wife Betsy and co-chairmen Charmay Allred and Maryann McCaffery had thought they’d have 250 or so to celebrate what they called “our first gala,” but the event drew 400, which caused a tinge of consternation for the valet parkers at the top of the hill, and a decision as to where to park the magnificent Rolls with the license 5 SIOUX.

But Dr. Norman F. Sprague Jr. and his wife Erlenne (Nancy Reagan’s close friend) were at the patio steps with warm welcomes, and trustees vice presidents James F. Dickason, Fred L. Hartley and Frank G. Hathaway, business dynamos all, table-hopped, and ambled up and down steps showing off their favorite Southwest Museum corners.

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Trustees Patricia Anawalt, Ann Lloyd Crotty, Elisabeth W. Dentzel, John F. Harvey (he and M. J. came from Las Vegas), David H. Rowan, Lawrence Jeffries, Nancy Barrett Ringle, Mary Stansbury Ruiz, Silvia Neville were among those hosting tables. It was the occasion to bring out the best of Indian jewelry. Committee member Lynda Levin was swathed in Navajo conchos. Marjorie (with Fred) Lyte put maribou about a chic sequinned Indian blanket.

Museum directors were in abundance: Long Beach Museum of Art Director Stephen Garrett brought Betty Gold of Arco, former director of Arco galleries; Dr. and Mrs. Robert Middlekauff of the Huntington Library were a pair. Gallery owner Elaine Horwich was there with an entourage.

The William Mingsts (he’s a trustee of the Natural History Museum, and she’s Norman Sprague’s daughter) were there, along with the Norman F. Spragues III (he’s president of the board of Harvard School), and the Norman Trentons, Proctor Stafford, the Robert Erburus, the Tom Johnsons, the Franklin Murphys and the Stephen Meiers. Ann Reynolds, chancellor, California State University Colleges, and her husband Dr. Thomas Kirschbaum joined the Houlihan table under the stars and a lot of laughter with the charming Nancy O’Connor (Carroll’s wife) of Malibu.

More in on the fun were Bradley Jones (Mary was in a divine Geoffrey Beene silk taffeta), Davis and Patty Pillsbury, Harry Montgomery, Frances Heifetz of Palm Springs, the Dwight Byrums of Bakersfield, Caroline Ahmanson (about to leave on another trip to China), Mrs. Homer D. Crotty with children Peter and Nan, Carson and Kaholyn McKissick, Biji Wilcox and Nancy Wheat, Patrick Neary (exhibits designer for the Heard Museum in Phoenix), Jim and Lauris Phillips and Lud and Shirley Renick (La Couronne Restaurant).

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Fast track:

Sam Shepard’s Obie Award-winning play, “Fool for Love,” will be performed at the new Los Angeles Theater Center on Oct. 6 under auspices of the Associates of the Center for Partially Sighted. It’s a champagne gala. Shepard will direct. Tickets for the champagne affair are $50. . . . Chairman Geri Sherman, Laura Borsten, Sylvia Lindenberg, Helene Sonderling, Merna Strauch, Isobel Tenzer and Carmel Winkler head the committee. . . .

It’s a Holly Mitchell fashion show Tuesday at the Beverly Wilshire for the Church of Good Shepherd Altar Society. Mrs. Edmund Schnieders Jr. is president of the group, and the luncheon committee planners include Mmes. Philip Sirianni, John Berardino, Francis Maier, Martin Ransohoff, Maria Bravo, Lawrence Gilmour and William A. Cruikshank Jr. Says Martha Schnieders, “It’s going to be lots of fun.” . . .

The Asian Pacific American Support Group of USC holds its first awards dinner Oct. 3 at the Hyatt Regency. USC President James H. Zumberge will be keynoter. To be honored are Dr. Sammy Lee, an Olymic gold medal winner and USC alumnus; Toshikazu Terasawa, leader in the Japanese-American community and alum, and Gin Wong, USC trustee. Proceeds go to a scholarship endowment fund to aid Asian Pacific American students. . . .

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Philanthropist Anna Bing Arnold will receive the Anti-Defamation League’s “Distinguished Community Service Award” at the Women’s Division Third Annual Gala Luncheon on Oct. 3, and actor Gene Barry (“La Cage aux Folles”) will be named 1985 Man of the Year. Carlotte Heller is chairman of the event at the Beverly Wilshire. KCBS Anchorman Jess Marlow is top-billed speaker. . . .

Hispanic Family Recognition and Caminos magazine, in conjunction with National Hispanic Heritage Week, plans to present the Hispanic Family of the Year tonight at Luminarias restaurant. Nominated families will be honored for community service.

The Opera Associates plan an evening of dining and fun under the stars Saturday at the Richard Patton gardens in Pasadena. Muriel Shapiro and Dorothy Shrier tout Greek cuisine and former Miss America Dorothy Anderson for vocal entertainment. . . .

Women at Work have asked Andrea Van de Kamp to be keynoter Oct. 7 at its luncheon celebrating its fifth anniversary of providing career information to men and women in search of economic independence. . . .

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Doris Sosin is new executive director of Santa Monica Heritage Square Museum in Santa Monica. . . .

Star Ann Blyth drew a prominent crowd when she entertained Saturday at the historic Mission San Fernando for Holy Cross Hospital’s Celebration gala. . . .


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