The New Witte Museum Has Opulent Grand Opening
By Jake Gaines
Photography by Greg Harrison
THE SCENE: San Antonio celebrated the grand opening of the New Witte Museum with A Night of Discovery theme with the ever-present Texas integral to its success. Over 750 guests explored the H-E-B Lantern, Valero Great Hall, McLean Family Texas Wild Gallery, the Kittie West Nelson Ferguson People of the Pecos Gallery and the Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery during an evening of interactive exploration of cultural and culinary splendor generously underwritten by Mary West and Richard Traylor.
THE VIBE: The festivities began in the Susan Naylor Center, the centerpiece of the New Witte. While guests explored the galleries with cocktails in hand, mobile food experiences in the theme of Texas Deep Time met them throughout the exhibitions. The sense of exploration and discovery flowed as President and CEO, Marise McDermott, raised a toast to all those who helped envision the New Witte. As dinner approached, guests walked to the Mays Family Center for a dinner of modern Texas cuisine by Catering by Rosemary’s and lively conversation. Don Gonzales, Chairman of the Witte Board of Trustees, led the program recognizing nearly $100 million dollars in support for the once-in-a-hundred-years transformation of the Witte campus. Throughout the seated dinner, Witte donors were celebrated for their incredible generosity, support, and leadership.
After the final toast, the party was most definitely not over. Dancers in dinosaur costumes “grooved” into the Mays Center and led guests back to the New Witte galleries and Texas Wild Garden for the finale of the evening, Disco with the Dinosaurs. Revelers enjoyed walls laden with gourmet donuts and a secret bar where Woodford Reserve was flowing. Ladies also touched up their lipstick at the Neiman Marcus lipstick bars before jumping on the dance floor to groove to the sounds of Uptown Drive presented by Silver Eagle Distributors. The evening came to a close at midnight as guests polished off delicious Whataburger taquitos.
THE CAUSE: The New Witte Museum is dedicated to natural history, science and South Texas heritage. The permanent collection features historic artifacts and photographs, Texas art, textiles and world-renowned collections.