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Annual NMM Member & Trustee Reception
Celebrates Unveiling of The King Henry IV Violin
September 24, 2010

Brad Randall reads letter from French Consulate

Brad Randall (left), Chairman of the Board of Trustees, opened the annual fall Member & Trustee Reception by reading a congratulatory letter sent to the Board of Trustees by Pierre Vimont, the French Ambassador to the United States. NMM Board Member, Claire Givens (right), and her husband, Andrew Dipper (Claire Givens Violins, Minneapolis), were then recognized for their vital role in targeting the Brothers Amati violin as a potential acquisition for the NMM. It was through their diligent efforts that the Board of Trustees first learned about the availability of the historic instrument.

Andrew Dipper and Claire Givens are congratulated

Catherine Stearns Addresses the Value of Cultural Diplomacy

Catherine Stearns speaks, view 1
Catherine Stearns, view 2
Catherine Stearns, view 3

Catherine Stearns (above), a Public Affairs Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Washington, DC, presented the evening's keynote address. Stearns, who joined the U.S. Department of State in 1999, noted that "the significance of this event became very poignant for me today when I toured this beautiful museum of the very first time. What a befitting home for a precious instrument from afar, built by Amati as a gift for a king and regal court of France." Music, Stearns noted, has proven to be an important part of our nation's cultural diplomacy. "Musical instruments, we have found, have stories to tell, and they speak about the countries in which they were created, but they have the inherent capacity to be universal, to transcend national boundaries, to bridge differences in culture and faith and language, to counter stereotypes, and to foster mutual understanding. That's the goal, the chief objective of our work in public diplomacy at the State Department." Stearns cited several examples of the ways in which music and the performing arts help the State Department interact with other countries, including Smart Power (which involves sending visual artists as envoys into communities worldwide) and Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad, which parallels the Cold War era's Jazz Ambassadors. Groups such as these help foster person-to-person exchanges and break down cultural barriers, Stearns noted. "We've seen that changes and shifts in attitudes that come out of these exchanges promote mutual understanding and linkages that can last a lifetime. So it's a long-term investment in people and in peace that we are making."

Arian Sheets Outlines the History of The King Henry IV Violin

Arian Sheets speaks about the history of the Amati violin

Arian Sheets, Curator of Stringed Instruments, presented the audience with an overview of the violin's history and significance. Her presentation, based on her article, "King Henry IV's Amati Violin Joins NMM's Crown Jewels," also introduced the newly published technical drawing of the Brothers Amati violin, prepared by Jonathan Santa Maria Bouquet, Conservation Research Assistant. Copies of this state-of-the-art drawing are available for purchase through the NMM Gift Shop.

Arian Sheets, view 2

Kevin Schieffer's Generosity Recognized

A hearty round of applause was offered up to NMM Trustee, Kevin Schieffer of Sioux Falls, through whose generosity the NMM was able to acquire The King Henry IV violin. Acknowledging the accolade, Schieffer responded with a smile, noting that "It was a gift to be able to do this. Please stop thanking me--it was a treat. You don't get an opportunity to do something like this too often. And everyone at the museum has done such a great job. It's amazing, the love and the care that André [Larson] and the entire team here put to not just this instrument, but everything in this building. It's truly remarkable."

Following a toast in honor of the occasion, offered by Brad Randall, the museum guests gathered to witness the unveiling of The King Henry IV violin in its new display case located near the entrance to the Rawlins Gallery. Images of that event can be seen on the NMM website at "Schieffer Unveils The King Henry IV Violin"

Kevin Schieffer recognized

Kevin Schieffer, Andre P. Larson, and Drew Dipper review Dipper's article about the Amati violin
Kevin Schieffer, Andre P. Larson, and Andrew Dipper

Schieffer thumbs through an offprint of the article, "Fit for a King," written by Andrew Dipper and Claire Givens, and published in the October 2010 issue of The Strad magazine. André P. Larson, NMM Director, looks on. Complimentary copies of the lavishly illustrated offprint were offered to those in attendance.

NMM Members and Trustees Mingle at Annual Reception

NMM Members arrive for evening reception
NMM Members arrive for evening reception, view 2
NMM Members gather for evening reception, view 3
NMM Members, view 1
NMM Members, view 2
NMM Members, view 3
NMM Members, view 4
NMM Members, view 5
NMM Members, view 6
NMM Members, view 7

NMM Members, view 8
NMM Members, view 9
NMM Members, view 10
NMM Members, view 11

NMM Members, view 12
NMM Members, view 13
NMM Members, view 14
Lois Doyle and Catherine Stearns
Andrew Dipper
NMM Members, view 15
Vern Holter
NMM Members, view 16
NMM Members, view 17
NMM Members, view 18
NMM Members, view 19
Photos by Aaron Packard

Return to NMM Newsletter Index (December 2010)

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