In a colorful break with genteel southern traditions, the annual Bayou Bend Garden Party on Sunday celebrated not only the house museum's 14 acres of lush plantings but also the arts of Asia. Thus, the festive paper umbrellas, the orchid and bamboo centerpieces, Japanese lanterns floating overhead and the performance by Lee's Dragon Dancers.
Rolanette Lawrence, on the arm of husband Berdon Lawrence, chaired the festive soiree that drew a light-hearted crowd of 650, all dressed in their finest spring frocks and light-weight suiting. Their efforts brought in $650,000 for Bayou Bend's general operating budget, a handsome sum surely appreciated by Bayou Bend director Bonnie Campbell and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Gary Tinterow, both of whom attended.
As principal underwriters, the Lawrences and as grand underwriter, IBERIABANK had the primo tables with splendid views of the lavish decor (abundant floral chandeliers comprised of forsythia and orchids) by McDugald-Steele and open sight-lines to the John Staub-designed home that serves as centerpiece of the MFAH's collection of American antiques.
Bayou Bend supporters included Cornelia and Meredith Long, Bobbie and John Nau, Cherie and Jim Flores, Carol and Mike Linn, Martha Long, Ann and Kevin Rafferty, Jeanie Kilroy, Wally Wilson, Lynn and Joe Hudson, Ann and John Bookout, Tina and Joe Pyne, Aliyya and Herman Stude and Nancy and Butch Abendshein.