Atlanta’s denizens of culture braved the long-awaited rain to attend the sold-out 20th anniversary Breman Jewish Heritage Museum gala, honoring Jarvin Levison, Saturday night, Dec. 3.

Breman Executive Director Aaron Berger worked with William Eiland, the head of the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, to curate a show of paintings, sculptures, glass and nontraditional art from different periods held in private collectors’ homes across Jewish Atlanta.

Collectors Sandy and Bob London flank their 1981 painting by Barton Church, “The Red Pot,” known for its gentleness and sense of monumentality.

Collectors Sandy and Bob London flank their 1981 painting by Barton Church, “The Red Pot,” known for its gentleness and sense of monumentality.

The current installment, featuring art created through the 20th century by artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky, Manet and Cassatt, will be on display with admission to the museum until Feb. 26. The second show, with 21st century art, will be on display from March 12 until June 11.

“This show of older pieces is amazing and two-dimensional. Wait until you see the March show with three-dimensional works created after 2000,” Berger said.

He added: “No one whistles a symphony. It takes an incredible staff to execute something of this grand a nature.”

Levison, a lawyer and history buff, is credited with having the vision two decades ago to work with Bill Breman and his wife, Elinor, to create the museum. His loyalty, modesty and determination were saluted.

Levison’s daughter, “Souper” Jenny Levison, performed a poignant song dedicated to her dad.

“This evening celebrates two things: Jarvin’s guiding spirit and the Breman itself, both heroes in our community,” collector Judith Taylor said.

Berger mingled among the objets d’art and took time to lend enhancing details.

Standing by an Andrew Wyeth painting lent by Ellen and Jack Holland, Berger pointed out the Caravaggio Italian lighting on the subject. Ellen Holland added, “Just look at the detail: the blue jeans, the wood … when you take time to study the painting.”

During the seated dinner presentations, Carol Nemo, Bill Breman’s daughter, was praised by Berger for being “over the top in making the Breman a cultural destination.”

She stole the show with a lighthearted poem about “giving bundles.”

The underlying context for the evening was the Breman’s need for a separate art museum building. It was the right crowd to make such dreams a reality.

 

Photos by Marcia Caller Jaffe