Savannah Morning News / Accent
By Linda Sickler
Read original article here
The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra’s “A Royal Masterpiece Auction Event” will be presented April 16 at The Whitman, an event venue near Forsyth Park.
A limited-edition, personally signed lithograph of a watercolor painted by Prince Charles will be auctioned. Number 12 of 20, the lithograph depicts Highgrove House, the prince’s country residence in the Cotswolds, in southwest England.
The event is being organized by philharmonic board member Rhegan White-Clemm, who is good friends with Kevin Lomas, house manager for the royal family at St. James Palace.
Lomas represents Prince Charles as ambassador for the Prince of Wales Charities and will open the ceremonies.
A silent auction will be held and will offer gifts sent directly from the Duchy of Cornwall shop at Prince Charles’ Highgrove Estate. A royal bagpipe march will be performed in honor of the occasion.
“The Savannah Philharmonic is fortunate indeed to receive this exciting piece of artwork donated to us by His Royal Highness,” she says. “This lithograph demonstrates the exceptional talents of Prince Charles as a watercolorist and that the subject matter chosen is that of his private country home makes it a splendid piece for our Royal Masterpiece auction.
“The recent exhibition at Windsor Castle, ‘Royal Paintbox: Royal Artists Past and Present,’ included a number of watercolors by Prince Charles,” White-Clemm says. “We are proud to work in partnership with the Prince of Wales Foundation, an international branch of the prince’s charities, which raise more than $100 million each year to support a large range of charities.”
The Prince of Wales Foundation was founded in the United States in 1997 to raise money for education, arts and cultural programs, sustainable development and the environment. There are related foundations in Australia, Canada, China and the United Kingdom.
The prince’s interest in painting began during the 1970s and 1980s. He was inspired by Robert Waddell, who had been his art master at the Gordonstoun school in Scotland.
Prince Charles has agreed to exhibit his watercolors and lithographs only if any income from them goes to his foundation. Only the lithographs are sold, as the paintings are never for sale.
It is rare for money raised from the sale of one of the lithographs to benefit organizations other than the Prince’s Foundation.
“It’s highly unique and highly unusual,” says David Pratt, executive director of the Savannah Philharmonic. “His own foundation in the U.S. was surprised. Their first response was, ‘How did you get this?’”
Pratt praises White-Clemm for organizing the auction.
“She worked in the U.K. for many years in the equestrian area,” he says. “She managed to pull this off, which is quite unique.”
A third of the money raised will go to the Prince’s Foundation, but the rest will be used by the philharmonic for its outreach programs, including those in the Savannah/Chatham Public School System, which mentor students.
The philharmonic also has its Music & Integrative Health Program to provide music for patients at local hospitals and treatment centers.
Philharmonic artistic director and conductor Peter Shannon adapted “The Magic Flute” as a 30-minute comedic performance for young patients and their families at The Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center.
The performances provide the children with a respite while they are hospitalized. The One-Hundred, a nonprofit that supports the Children’s Hospital, donated money for sets and costumes for volunteer vocalists who perform “The Magic Flute.”
The money raised also will benefit the Music & Integrative Medicine Program at the Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial Hospital, which provides live music to patients, their families and caretakers. Musicians from the Savannah Philharmonic perform twice a week in the lobby waiting room, the chemotherapy treatment rooms and in the oncology wards. Chorus members perform every three months.
“Prince Charles is well known for his philanthropy,” Shannon says. “The Prince’s Foundation is a big foundation.
“They make different lithographs and prints of the prince’s original artwork that are signed personally by Prince Charles. It comes with a letter from the palace.
“It comes in a blue leather box that is very decorative with a logo of Prince Charles embossed onto the leather. It is very impressive.”
The prince is highly esteemed as an artist.
“His artwork is sought by collectors all over the world,” Shannon says. “This auction is going to be very, very special.”
“It’s so unusual and unique; it’s really such a privilege for the philharmonic to have it,” Pratt says. “We feel so privileged by it.”
IF YOU GO
What: A Royal Masterpiece Auction Event
When: 6-8 p.m. April 16
Where: Whitman House, 611 Whitaker St.
Cost: $30 per person, plus a $5 bidding pre-registration fee
Info: 912-232-6002, www.savannahphilharmonic.org/royalauctiononline