Museum supporters celebrate vibrant upcoming year

Hosts Dorothy and Caesar Stair III.

Members of the Knoxville Museum of Art’s Collectors Circle gathered last week for an evening of art and conversation to kick off the group’s new year of activities.

Held at the lovely Lyons View Pike home of Dorothy and Caesar Stair III, the party offered a preview of upcoming events as well as a couple of hours to experience the best view in Knoxville, if you ask me!

The Collectors Circle, which is designed to expose members to art experiences outside the museum’s walls, also provides funds to purchase new art for the KMA. Curator Stephen Wicks said the group has funded the acquisition of 60 pieces over the past 30 years, including the museum’s first work by Knoxville native Beauford Delaney.

Upcoming Collectors Circle events include a December visit to the home of artist Jered Sprecher, who will provide a painting demonstration; a January discussion of the ways the KMA’s signature “Higher Ground” exhibit can be expanded; a March tour of Case Antiques during which owner John Case will discuss how AI technology has revolutionized ways to detect art forgeries; and a May meeting to discuss a new purchase.

In addition, members of the Collectors Circle are planning a trip to Urbino in Italy.

The best view in Knoxville is from the back of the Stairs’ house. Don’t you agree?

Pretty in pink! We saw these fun ladies as we arrived. From left, Susan Seymour, Gail Jarvis and Johnnie Creel.

Looking for someone at a party? Check the bar line! Actually, more than 60 folks came to this one!

Sandi Burdick and Tom Boyd were among them.

David Butler, left, and Ted Smith. Butler is executive director of the Knoxville Museum of Art. He has announced his plans to retire at the end of the year.

Joe and Nancy Parrott with Barbara Bernstein, at right. He is a well-known local artist.

Stephen Salters posing with Lane Hays. An assistant professor of voice in the University of Tennessee College of Music, Salters is staying in the Stairs’ guest house. Here’s what the Washington Post said about him: “Not only does he sound like God on a good day, but he’s intensely imaginative and adventurous, navigating repertoire that would make most singers creep into the wings and weep.”

Nancy Voith, left, with Julia and Gary Bentley.

From left, KMA Curator Stephen Wicks, Alan Carmichael and Jeff Peters.

Nancy and Charles Wagner.

Susan Farris, left, with Robin Turner.

Don Stoner and Faith Ferguson, owners of Pivot Point Gallery.

Kay and Larry Leibowitz are co-chairs of the Collectors Circle.

Susan Seymour and Jim Brown.

Stuart Worden and Lane Hays.

The food by Holly Hambright was fantastic, as usual.

Caesar shared a little bit about the fabulous home, built in 1916 by the Briscoe family. Caesar’s family bought it in 1956, when he was 12.

Even before the Briscoes moved into their new home, their daughter, Rose, got married there. In a tip of the hat to that occasion, there are roses in the moulding around the chandeliers.

Dorothy moved in in 1971 after marrying Caesar. “It looked like a haunted house,” she quipped.

A piece by local artist Richard Jolley was on the bar. “We’re not collectors,” Dorothy said. “We’ve just amassed things over the years.”

Caesar said he fell in love with this painting while visiting upstate New York. He paid $100 for it!

Pictures of some boats owned by the McNabb family.

An attentive crowd.

Fun! This Latin inscription in the sunroom says, “Caesar’s House.”

Barbara Apking, left, with Kimbro Maguire and Penny Lynch.

Angela Masini, left, with Kent and Susan Farris.

Carol Coode, left, and Pat Rutenberg.

Mimi Turner, left, and Kay Leibowitz.

Mike and Jane Fowler.

Dorothy Stair, left, and Lisa Carroll.

Dorothy loves Rome and visited it every year from 1983 to 2005. In 2005, she asked artist J. Stone Roberts to paint a picture of a Rome scene — and to put her in it! That’s her, front left!

David Butler, center, with Jim and Elizabeth Williams.

Alan Carmichael and Pandy Anderson. She’s one of our downtown neighbors.

Angela Masini, left, and Sheena McCall.

The great event was a harbinger of even more fun things to come!



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6 Responses to Museum supporters celebrate vibrant upcoming year

  1. Gay Lyons, on September 18th, 2023 at 2:50 pm said:

    That is for sure the best view in town–and one of my favorite places. Dorothy & Caesar are fabulous hosts.

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on September 18th, 2023 at 2:53 pm said:

    Gay: I couldn’t agree more! It was a fun, fun evening for a cause they both love. (And so do I!)

  3. Sheena McCall, on September 18th, 2023 at 4:25 pm said:

    I have loved belonging to the Collectors Cicle for many years.
    They are a very special group who make a great contribution to our museum and our city!

  4. Marsha Grieve, on September 19th, 2023 at 2:53 pm said:

    The view from their back porch IS a painting! Love the painting done by J. Stone Roberts with Dorothy in it – what a keeper! Is he a TN artist by chance?

  5. Cynthia Moxley, on September 19th, 2023 at 3:48 pm said:

    Marsha: I agree 100 percent about that beautiful view! As for J. Stone Roberts, I believe he is from Asheville.

  6. Cynthia Moxley, on September 19th, 2023 at 3:52 pm said:

    Sheena: I love the Collectors Circle events! Each one is unique and the other members are so friendly and enthusiastic about our museum!

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