Media Contact:

Miriam Taylor
Media Contact, Ogden Museum of Southern Art
925 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

NEW ORLEANS, LA-On the evening of Saturday, October 15th, 2015 at 6:00 p.m., nearly five-hundred patrons of the arts will gather at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans for "O What A Night!" an unparalleled celebration of Southern art, culture and cuisine chaired by Tracy Copeland and Tommy Westervelt. The glamorous black-tie event, previously featured everywhere from Elle Décor to Garden & Gun, highlights the important mission of the Ogden Museum: to broaden the knowledge, understanding, interpretation and appreciation of the visual arts and culture of the American South.

This year's gala will honor Fran Villere, longtime New Orleans' philanthropist. Fran credits her early service in the United Way and membership in the Junior League providing the skills necessary for a career in volunteerism. She served as Chairman of the Board of the Kingsley House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Louisiana, the Volunteer and Information Agency, and Longue Vue House and Gardens, and served as an officer and member on many others.

Fran Villere was a primary fundraiser for the Ogden Museum in the years before Stephen Goldring Hall was built to house the Roger Houston Ogden Collection and other donations of art that make up the museum's permanent collection. The Villeres have a named gallery at the Ogden Museum. Past winners of the Opus Award include "Blue Dog" artist, George Rodrigue, philanthropist, Bill Goldring, and David Kerstein, president of The Helis Foundation.

Celebrated New York City-based interior designer, Richard Keith Langham, designed the décor for this year's gala. A native of Alabama, Langham has had his work featured in Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Veranda, Vogue and W, and was included in Architectural Digest's "AD 100" for 2016.

The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception held in the historic Patrick F. Taylor Library designed by the iconic master architect Henry Hobson Richardson. A Silent Auction presented by New Orleans Auction Galleries will follow immediately after. Chef Justin Devillier, of La Petite Grocery and Balise, and the winner of the James Beard Best Chef: South award will serve hors d'oeuvres. Following the Silent Auction and cocktail reception, gala attendees will enjoy a seated dinner and meticulously crafted menu from nationally renowned Chef Mitch Arens of Calcasieu, the private dining facility of Link Restaurant Group. The centerpiece of the gala is the spirited live auction presided over by Christie's SVP, Lydia Fenet. This year's auction features major works by John Alexander, Carmelo Blandino, George Dunbar, Simon Gunning, Pinkney Herbert, Arthur Kern, Ashley Longshore, William R. McClure IV, James Michalopoulos, Mallory Page, George Rodrigue, Gregory Saunders and Mike Williams.

The "O What A Night" gala is one of the most highly anticipated Southern social events of the year and is always a sell-out. Last year's event raised over $600k for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art's exhibition, education, and outreach programs. The museum is on track to break fundraising records at this year's gala.

For more information, or to purchase tickets to "O What A Night!" visit or contact or call (504) 539-9616.


Located in the vibrant Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art holds the largest collection of Southern art and is recognized for its original exhibitions, public events, and educational programs which examine the development of visual art alongside Southern traditions of music, literature, and culinary heritage to provide a comprehensive story of the South. Established in 1999 and in Stephen Goldring Hall since 2003, the Museum welcomes almost 80,000 visitors annually, and attracts diverse audiences through its broad range of programming including exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, and concerts which are all part of its mission to broaden the knowledge, understanding, interpretation, and appreciation of the visual arts and culture of the American South.

The Ogden Museum is open Wednesday through Monday from 10AM-5PM and also on Thursdays from 6-8PM for Ogden After Hours. Admission is free to Museum Members and $13.50 for adults, $11 for seniors 65 and older, $7.25 for children ages 5-17 and free for children under 5.

The Ogden Museum is free to Louisiana Residents on Thursdays from 10AM-5PM courtesy of The Helis Foundation. The Helis Foundation is a Louisiana private foundation, established by the William Helis Family. The Art Funds of the Helis Foundation advance access to the arts for the community through contributions that sustain operations for, provide free admission to, acquire works of art, and underwrite major exhibitions and projects of institutions within the Greater New Orleans area.

The Museum is closed Martin Luther King Day, Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and day following, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

The Museum is located at 925 Camp Street, New Orleans Louisiana 70130. For more information visit or call 504-539-9650.