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    Marci Tate
    Manager of Public Relations
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    19th Annual High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction Nets $1.7 Million

    ATLANTA, April 25, 2011 –– In its 19th year, the 2011 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction reached a Live Auction total of more than $1.125 million and a Silent Auction total $158,100. Silent auctions under the tents on Saturday, March 26, coupled with a Paddle Raise during the Live Auction and event ticket sales brought the net profit for the 2011 Wine Auction to $1.7 million. Proceeds from the auction are a vital part of the Museum’s exhibition and educational programming funds. The dates for the 20th annual High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction are March 28–31, 2012.

    The 2011 Wine Auction celebrated with the theme “The Ultimate Collection: A Sumptuous Blend of Wine, Art, Food and Friends.” Organized by volunteer co-chairs Louise Sams and Michelle Sullivan, the Live Auction events were held in Atlantic Station under festive big-top tents.

    More than 71 live and 169 silent auction lots offered exclusive opportunities to taste, tour and visit with more than 100 vintners from the world’s premier wine regions as well as the chance to purchase cult wines, rare vintages and large-format bottles. The Special Guest of Honor was Michael Browne of Kosta Browne Winery and the Special Friend-in-Wine was Joy Sterling of Iron Horse Vineyards. Teaming up to wield the gavel for the Live Auction were esteemed wine auctioneers Michael Davis and Ben Ferdinand of Hart Davis Hart Wine Co., Chicago.

    The 6th annual Paddle Raise was held in support of youth education at the High, including programs such as the I See Literacy and I See History tours, the Summer Teacher Institute and the Atlanta Public Schools After-School Project. This year’s Paddle Raise, held in memory of longtime auction supporter Taylor Stuckey, allowed bidders to contribute between $250 and $10,000 each to the fund, with the total reaching over $159,000.

    The highest single auction bid of the day was $86,000 for a “Napa Valley Insider Weekend,” including luxury lodging and private tours of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and first class roundtrip airfare from Delta Air Lines. Selling for $65,000 was a dinner party for twenty guests with 2011 Special Guest of Honor Michael Browne of Kosta Browne, an acoustic performance by Ed Roland of Collective Soul and brothers Kevin and Kent Rathbun preparing a meal. The third highest-selling auction lot at $60,000 includes a day with Chef Mario Batali and Au Bon Climat, owner Jim Clendenen in New York City and airfare provided by Delta Private Jets. Other highlights included Museum-grade artwork featured in the Live Auction with pieces from Robert Weingarten, Wynn Bullock, Jean-Jacques Grandville, Chip Simone, Richard Misrach, Lucinda Bunnen, and Alex Katz.

    The 19th annual Wine Auction commenced with 2nd annual Dine Around Dinners on Wednesday, March 23, and the Trade Tasting and in-home Winemaker Dinners on Thursday, March 24. Events on Friday, March 25, included the 2nd annual Vintners’ Cup golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club and the Friday Night Fête under the tents in Atlantic Station. Saturday, March 26, featured the Vintners’ Reception and Live Auction. More than 100 distinguished wineries and 35 of Atlanta’s finest chefs were represented at the Vintners’ Reception to the crowd of more than 900 food and wine enthusiasts.

    The 2011 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction was made possible through the generous support of the exclusive Grand Cru Sponsor Wells Fargo Private Bank and Wells Fargo Insurance Services. Premier Corporate Sponsors include Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine, Geographics, Unisource and Turner Broadcasting Company. Delta Air Lines was the Official Airline Sponsor. The Friday Night Fête Sponsor was Wilmington Trust. Atlantic Station was the Site Sponsor. Bidding Paddle Sponsor was KPMG. Automotive Sponsor was Mercedes-Benz USA. Select Corporate Sponsors include A Legendary Event, Four Seasons Hotel, Atlanta, Sherlock’s Wine Merchant, The St. Regis Atlanta, The Coca-Cola Company and smartwater.

    High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction
    Founded in 1993, the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction is the largest fundraising event for the High Museum of Art, the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. The Wine Auction is the top charity fundraising event in Atlanta, the fifth largest charity wine auction in the United States according to “Wine Spectator” and the number-one charity wine auction benefiting the arts. The funds generated by the auction, which amount to more than $19 million over the last 19 years, are a significant contribution to the Museum’s exhibitions and educational programming. Proceeds help to make possible special exhibitions and partnerships such as the upcoming multi-year, multi-exhibition partnership between the High and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and also provide funds for dynamic youth education programs that draw thousands of schoolchildren to the High each year.

    High Museum of Art
    The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High's media arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum's size, creating a vibrant "village for the arts" at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.high.org.

    The Woodruff Arts Center
    The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit www.woodruffcenter.org.

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