It was an elegant soiree with no detail left undone. Handsome couples turned out in tuxes and shimmering ensembles. Union Jacks covered cocktail tables spilling with champagne, a not-so-subtle homage to the Berger Collection of British art currently on exhibit. And a bagpipe procession led guests from the cocktail reception in the Selma Wolf Black Great Hall of the Portland Museum of Art across Congress Square to the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel for the 2014 Trustees’ Dinner.

Pandora LaCasse’s downtown light sculptures, as if on queue, colorfully lit the way.

“This isn’t just a fundraiser,” said museum trustee Jim Houle of Scarborough, smiling amidst the din of laughter and conversation. “People come here to enjoy the friendship of each other. This is a wonderful evening.”

And gather they did. Rosemary and Hans Underdahl, former chairman of the board of trustees, chatted with Aimée and Mark Bessire, the museum director. Fellow trustee Heather Veitch of Yarmouth enjoyed the evening with her father, James Wagner of Syracuse, New York.

Museum trustee Melanie and Eliot Cutler, fresh off his run for governor, joined Drs. Isabella Stumpf and William B. Williams of Cape Elizabeth, also a trustee.

Trustee Cyrus and Patty Hagge were in attendance, as well as Betsy Evans Hunt and fellow trustee Larry and Robin Rubinstein.

Members of the museum’s Contemporaries Steering Committee at the festive event included Alec Porteous and MaryBeth Lorenz, there with her husband Christopher.

Longtime trustee Les Otten, whose lively banter as auctioneer energized the live auction later in the evening, was joined by Veronica Cross of Greenwood.

“It’s amazing to see so many come together to raise such significant funds for our operating initiatives, such as our Free School Tours program,” said Liz Cartland, PMA director of development. “For such a big event, it managed to be just what I love about Portland – intimate and fun. We are so grateful for everyone that came out to celebrate what’s been a wonderful year for the PMA.”

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be contacted at her website:

margaretlogan.squarespace.com