Honoring Contemporary American Civilization, 15th Annual Awards Presented by National Museum of American Illustration

As arbiters of taste in American drawings and illustration, Laurence and Judy Goffman Cutler have extended their interests to honor public figures who make our contemporary culture unique. Such recipients as Tom Wolfe and Whoopi Goldberg have been previously honored at the magnificent Vernon Court on Bellevue Avenue, Newport.


Laurence Cutler with Matt Lauer

This year, "Today" show host Matt Lauer charmed guests at the 15th Annual Gala at the National Museum of American Illustration. Mr. Lauer, "Lost" actress and author Evangeline Lilly, and Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Paul Szep accepted the American Civilization Awards from hosts Laurence and Judy Cutler, cheered on by hundreds of guests including Geraldo Rivera and well-know artists, socialites and entertainers. Each received a crystal cube with his own likeness within.

Excellent American artworks for bidding

The sophisticated evening, reaching out to the worlds of entertainment and literature, and having the Museum itself honored for its role in fostering a new level of regard for American illustration, made an important point: Illustration was once thought to be too much to the popular taste, and akin to films, to be considered a serious art form. No longer, thanks to the efforts of the Museum founders.


Scrutinizing the petite auction

The Petite Auction, held within Vernon Court, and the lively live auction, which brought $900,000 for Norman Rockwell's portrait of John F. Kennedy, a highlight, showed both heightened interest in and prices offered for works by Maxfield Parrish, Ludwig Bemelmans, J.C. Leyendecker, and Howard Chandler Christy, among others.


Guests crowded into the enormous tent, avoiding a rainstorm that raged outside while the music of the Soul Sound Revue had dancers on their feet. The awards presentation took place before dinner, and the live auction after, as the raging storm failed to dampen the spirits, or shoes,  of partygoers.


                                                                           -- L. P.


The evening's program in the Marble Hall

Tommy & Carol Simjian

     Judy Cutler & Jay Page

Jackie Savoie & Dennis McCool

Friends with Pamela & Andrew Considine

Leslie Hogan & Hugh O'Donnell

Harris & Allen Kenner

Ross O'Neill & Janine Atamian

Janet & Toby Pell

Khalil & Marjorie Shekarchi with Gary & Mary Garabedian

Mark Brice, Erin Banreen, Sherry Brice & Laurence Cutler

The Brices & The Cutlers

The Vernon Court grounds before the rains came

Ali Sayles, Ruth Pointer & Mike Sayles


John French, friend & Nancy Parker Wilson


Jae French & Rabbi Marc Mandel


Ron Slingerland & Mikki Micarelli


Congressman David Cicilline & Toby Pell



Pamela Hodnett, Melanie Delman, "Papa" Doug Manchester, Catherine Cloney & John Hodnett, the Lila Delman table


"Lady of Lila" Kim Doherty with Diana Slocum


Bernard & Sarah Gewirz


Congressman Cicilline with friend


Toby Pell, Alice Lynch, James Berwind ? & Kim Herrlinger


Glamorous Ruth Orthwein & daughter Pamela O'Connor


Rick Bready & Andrew Considine



Geraldo Rivera laughs at Matt Lauer's remarks

Geraldo Rivera & wife Erica Rivera


Allegra Rose singing the National Anthem


Carol Simjian & Matt Lauer


Matt Lauer & Newport Seen's Linda Phillips


Matt Lauer & Tommy Simjian


Heidi von Bernewitz  & Holly Paige


The glittering American Civilization Foundation Awards


Matt Lauer offers as toast to the Museum


The Cutlers presenting Mr. Lauer's award


Evangeline Lilly and Matt Lauer at the honoree table


Ms. Lilly's charming acceptance speech


Paul Szep thanking the Cutlers


A live auction illustration by Leydendecker


Illustration for the cover of Saturday Evening Post Magazine


Soul Sound Revue  entertained


"Ladies of Lila" Catherine Cloney & Pamela Hodnett


Mark Streisand, Rick Bready & Ms. Teverow

 Leora Leca & Dr. Benedict Leca


The crowded dance floor


Silent auction items


Carol Simjian & Linda Phillips

 To purchase a high-res print of an image, contact Linda (a) NewportSeen.com  All images copyrighted












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