The University Museum’s 2014 gala, “Hot Iron: A Victorian Industrial Fantasy,” has set a record as the best attended and most successful fundraiser in the museum’s nearly 40-year history.
The adventurous theme inspired guests to dress in their Victorian finest with gear appropriate to set off on a whirlwind journey. The musical styling of Reginald Stanley Rumpole-Smyth III and his Chrononauts, featuring David Ferguson, Zachery Collins, Jacob Ertl, John Mullen, and the Intrepid Colonel, Joseph Baunoch, provided entertainment throughout the evening.
In addition to musical entertainment, IUP’s Dance Theater, nicknamed “Madame Agnes Fontayn-Duncan and her Time-Trippers” presented “Inventor’s Fantasy,” a steampunk-inspired dance number.
A spectacular and unique feature of this year’s gala was a 1914 American LaFrance automobile, owned by Jon Perry and William Woodcock of Farnsworth House Bed and Breakfast, East Run, Pennsylvania, which was parked outside of Sutton Hall for photo opportunities. The photo above features gala cochairpersons Elaine Palmer and William Double posing with the automobile in their steampunk best.
Actioneer Michael Charnego sparked excitement in the Blue Room as he conducted a live auction featuring some surprise additions to the listed items. Guests competed in spirited bidding for objects of desire, including a steampunk-inspired black diamond and pearl ring designed by G. C. Wyant especially for this event.
The University Museum extends its thanks to the generosity of all the auction donors, gala sponsors, guests, and contributors who could not attend. This all contributed to the Museum’s exceeding its fundraising goal for this benefit event.
The annual gala supports the Museum’s admission-free exhibitions and related public programs. Proceeds from the evening also are used to build and care for the permanent collection of art and cultural objects.