Art world salutes Arthur Roger at exhibition opening at New Orleans Museum of Art

There are many masterpieces hanging in the New Orleans Museum of Art, but on Thursday (June 22) there was no doubt who the star was: Arthur Roger. This  gallery owner, art collector and philanthropist, was joined by artists, collectors, curators, family and friends to celebrate the donation of his entire personal art collection to the New Orleans Museum of Art. To mark this occasion, NOMA Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Katie Pfohl, organized “Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans,” on view through Sept. 3.

Roger, who opened his gallery in New Orleans in 1978, is considered among the city’s trailblazers (along with Orleans Gallery and Galerie Simonne Stern) of contemporary art in New Orleans, championing artists whose works encompassed race, gender, and sexuality. His gallery was one of the first in the South to embrace female artists. Roger’s collection includes many of these emerging, now established artists.

For the exhibition opening party at the museum, it seemed like the who’s who of the New Orleans art scene, as well as artists and collectors flying in from all over the U.S.

Artist spotted in the crowd were Lin Emery, David Bates, Nicole Charbonnet, Raine Bedsole, John Alexander, Deborah Kass, Erica Larkin Gaudet and Mitchell Gaudet, Dawn DeDeaux, Alex Podesta, Jacqueline Bishop, Gene Koss, Bradley Sabin, Ron Bechet, Karoline Schleh, Srdjan Loncar, Willie Birch, Simon Gunning, Lesley Dill, Stephen Paul Day, Francis X. Pavy, Michel Varisco, Cynthia Scott, Dapper Bruce Lafitte, Judy Cooper, Marc Bercier, Bob Tannen, John Hartman, and Seth Boonchai. Collectors included Walda and Sydney Besthoff, Claude Albritton, Jim Mounger, Mercedes Whitecloud, Jane and Henry Lowentritt, Stewart and Renee Peck, Robin and Allan Kanner, and Coleman Adler, and museum directors, in addition to NOMA’s Susan Taylor, were Neil Barclay, Contemporary Arts Center; William Andrews, Ogden Museum of Art; Priscilla Lawrence, Historic New Orleans Collection, and Beverly McKenna, McKenna Museum of African-American Art; and Curators Bradley Sumrall, Andrea Andersson, Bill Fagaly, Russell Lord, Alice Yelen (many of who are collectors, as well), and Allison Young, who worked with Katie Pfohl on the exhibition.

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To reach Sue Strachan, send an email to socialscene@nola.com or call 504.450.5904. Find her on Twitter and Instagram as @suestrachan504, with the hashtag #nolasocialscene. Visit her on Facebook. And, come back to NOLA.com/society for more New Orleans area event and party news and photos.

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