Since its inception several decades ago, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston's "One Great Night in November" has been a financial windfall year over year, proving that when it comes to writing the big philanthropic checks, you can count on the men in black-tie to do the heavy lifting.
Such was the case on Tuesday when the dinner evening (at one time referred to as a men's smoker) held at the MFAH brought in a tidy $1,282,790 million, thanks in part to grand underwriter Cadence Bank. While museum staff takes care of the logistics of the event, there was no designated chairman this year. Rather an honorary committee of past chairmen served as titular heads.
As is tradition, the gents peruse a selection of artworks, hand picked by MFAH curators, for purchase for the museum's permanent collection. They then vote on which pieces they would like to see remain. While a total of 14 pieces were acquired with the evening's proceeds, the two receiving highest votes were Seated Figure (1500-300 B.C., earthenware figure) and James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Nocturne (1879/80, etching and drypoint, state IV/IX).
Cadence Bank's Paul Murphy joined museum director Gary Tinterow and museum board chairman Rich Kinder in addressing the gathering of 367, who sat down for a manly dinner prepared by City Kitchen. The evening was sweetened for the gents by the donation of Scotch from Balvanie and Davidoff cigars from The Briar Shoppe.
Among guests were Meredith Long, Ralph Eads, Fayez Sarofim, Charles Duncan Jr., Charles Duncan III, Frank Hevrdejs, Brad Bucher, Will Mathis, Lenoir Josey, Jeff Hildebrand, Paul Hobby, Cal McNair and Wally Wilson.