December 8, 2023

Season’s Greetings!

This time of year is a wonderful blend of parties, visiting with family and friends, and exploring all that our beautiful city of Charleston has to offer. We truly have so much to be thankful for. I thank each of you for your continued support and involvement with the Gibbes and the Women’s Council. Each of you share your unique gifts of time and talents with this amazing group of women and we are grateful.

Our annual Holiday Party was held Sunday, December 3 at the beautiful home of our gracious host, Carter Ward. It was a fun, festive evening with delicious food, beautiful decorations and holiday cheer. Many thanks to Deirdre McMurtry, Clare Meyer, Michele Costanzo and their committee for planning a beautiful party. Thank you Carter for your generous hospitality!

On Wednesday, January 10, our next GWC event will feature the art and storytelling of Julyan Davis and will be held at the Gibbes. Mark your calendars and plan to attend this event, which is sure to be a fascinating look into Southern narratives and folklore. Also, the Art of Design luncheon to be held April 24, is always a thrilling sold out event. Please consider being a sponsor for this event to secure your ticket and experience one of Charleston’s most talked about social events!

Wishing each of you a joyous and festive holiday season!


Whitney Jones

GWC President

[email protected]

Image credit: MCG Photography


  1. Click on Join/Renew
  2. Select the Women’s Council tab
  3. Scroll down and click on member access
  4. Enter username: GibbesWC
  5. Enter password: GWC135


On October 26, a sizeable crowd turned out to hear from Aldous Bertram, author of Dragons & Pagodas: A Celebration of Chinoiserie and designer extraordinaire. Bertram, who now calls Charleston home, shared the story of his life’s work and the journey that has led him to become an interior designer. GWC board member, Jennifer Mendelsoln, also an interior designer, interviewed Bertram, who kept the audience engaged as well as entertained. Bertram’s education, experience and work convey that art, history and architecture all culminate to create beautiful design in the form of interior spaces. In keeping with the evening’s theme, Chinese food from Kwei Fei and Beautiful South was served and enjoyed.


Bertram graciously autographed books that were available for purchase after the

presentation. Books are also available in the Gibbes Museum gift shop. Thank you to the committee for putting together this terrific event.


On December 3, the GWC Holiday Party was held at the home of Carter Ward. The evening was a resounding success as more than 80 members and their guests shared merriment, laughter, and delicious food. A heartfelt thank you to Carter for generously opening her doors and creating a welcoming atmosphere, which set the stage for an unforgettable evening. We also appreciate the unwavering dedication of Deirdre McMurtry and her committee, who organized a memorable event. Their meticulous planning and attention to detail ensured that every aspect of the party was a delight, from the mouthwatering food to the refreshing libations. As we reflect on the warmth and joy shared during the Holiday Party, we extend our gratitude to everyone who contributed to making this event a success. It is through the collective efforts of our members that we continue to strengthen the bonds within our community on behalf of the Gibbes Women’s Council. 

Clare Meyer, Programs Chair

Michele Costanzo, Programs Co-Chair

SAVE THE DATE: January 10: Artist Julyan Davis at the Gibbes

March 6: Tour the IAAM. Details to come!

Hannah Cecil Gurney, Art of Design Speaker

Photo Credit: Simon Lipman/ Birch London


The Art of Design Committee is thrilled to announce that Ms. Hannah Cecil Gurney, Director of de Gourney Hand Painted Interiors, will be the speaker at this year’s Art of Design luncheon on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. These exquisite wallpapers usually have six artisans working approximately 150 hours to create each design. Each work is created in pencil before being painted. Today, de Gourney has grown to include hand painted wallpapers and fabrics. 

Hannah Gurney is the daughter of Claud Cecil Gurney, founder of de Gourney. The company was founded in his basement in 1986 and is named for the medieval French spelling of the Gurney name. De Gourney was started after Mr. Gurney toured Chinese factories that specialized in hand-painted wallpapers.

Tickets are now on sale to be a sponsor of this great event. Single sponsorship is $600, and a sponsorship for two people is $1,200. Higher sponsorship levels with additional benefits are also available. You may reserve your sponsorship by contacting the AOD Committee. This is the only Gibbes Women’s Council fundraising event to support the Gibbes Museum of Art. If you were a sponsor last year, please consider increasing your sponsorship to a higher level. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Betty Anne Wilson ([email protected]) or Robyn Stern ([email protected]).




President | Whitney Jones

Vice President | Ronni Sarmanian

Secretary | Liane Kerr

Treasurer | Jennifer Mendelsohn

Governance | Martha Waggoner

Governance Vice Chair | Lindy Carter


Communications Chair | Peggy Malaspina

Membership Chair | Melissa Efird

Membership Vice Chair |Sarah Pitts

Programs Chair | Clare Meyer

Programs Vice Chair | Michele Costanzo

Art of Design Chair | Betty Anne Wilson

Art of Design Co-Chair | Robyn Stern

Past President | Sonja Golinski

MCG photography

Contact the Board at [email protected]
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