‘Director’s Circle is the highest level of membership here at the museum,” Abegail Baguio, director of annual giving and membership at the Portland Museum of Art, said as she surveyed the intimate gathering of guests at the summer lawn party honoring these distinguished patrons. “They are our strongest and most loyal supporters, and they are really our biggest advocates.”

As the late summer sun began to set, guests mingled in the courtyard between the McLellan and Clapp houses, enjoying the chance to catch up with each other over cocktails. A flamenco guitarist, perched amongst the pillars of the Clapp house, played softly to the attendees below.

“This is a wonderful celebration of the beauty of these buildings,” said Ken Blaschke, chairman of the Director’s Circle steering committee and a museum trustee, who attended with his wife, Emily. “It’s been a good year.”

Dr. Isabella Stumpf of Maine Medical Center chatted with Harry Konkel, honorary trustee of the museum, and his daughter, Susie, of Cape Elizabeth. Trustee Dr. Melanie Stewart Cutler attended with her husband, Eliot, and enjoyed the company of Chris Harte of Austin, Texas, and Katherine Pope of Falmouth.

“This is our second annual lawn party,” noted Liz Cartland, director of development at the PMA, who was joined by Prouts Neck resident George Berger and Pharibe Wise of Orlean, Virginia. “It’s really a wonderful time to take a break from the busy summer and reconnect with our closest supporters and say thank you.”

“There are great people in this city,” said Amy Woodhouse, a trustee from South Freeport. “Everyone is so happy to see each other. We have an amazing museum community.”

Anne Fowler of Portland, a trustee whose great uncle was museum benefactor Charles Shipman Payson, attended with her husband, Sam Allen.

“He wanted a place to store his Winslow Homers,” Fowler said, explaining her great uncle’s endowment. “He wanted a place to display them so people could enjoy them.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to all of the people who make the museum go around,” said chief curator Jessica May, while visiting with Nancy Dempze of Hemenway Trust Company and Dan Bailey of Pierce Atwood. “Everyone enjoys the opportunity to say thank-you and to get to know one another better.”

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

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