World War II veteran Roy McInnis was among the first guests to walk through the door of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts for this year’s Military Open House. “I have been here several times. I was excited about coming,” said McInnis. The 92-year-old joined the many active, reserve, and retired armed forces personnel and their families who participated in the patriotic event hosted by the MMFA Thursday evening, August 20.
Museum director Mark Johnson and his wife Amy personally greeted many of the guests, including Major General Jocelyn Seng, USAF, who shared her enthusiasm and knowledge of the fine arts on an impromptu tour with Mark.
Major Nick Van Elsacker and his wife Amanda just moved to Montgomery from Shreveport, Louisiana. “This time of year there is a large influx of students for the Air University.” said Major Elsacker. This is Elsacker’s second time stationed at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base. Amanda added, “I saw the advertisement in the paper and I told my husband about it. I love museums.”
Guests enjoyed a dinner of fried fish and chicken complemented with coleslaw, hush puppies, macaroni and cheese, and dessert of bread pudding–all provided by the Museum’s co-sponsor of the evening, Wintzell’s Oyster House. The Lo-Fi Loungers performed in the Lowder Gallery entertaining guests as they ate.
Retired army Lt. Col. Isaiah Flowers said it’s an honor to be recognized for his service to our country. “Makes you feel good. I think it’s great. This event exposes people to something we should all be coming to but don’t, because we simply aren’t aware of what the Museum has to offer,” said Flowers.
Guests received an early look at the two newest special exhibitions, William Christenberry: Tracing a Line and Journey Through the Collection: Docent Choices, both of which opened early for MOH. Inspired by Christenberry’s drawings, younger visitors created their own tree collages in the studios. Others built clay masks reminiscent of the masks in the Museum’s African exhibition.
The Museum is pleased to offer this annual evening event as a small “thank you” to those who serve our community and our country in the armed forces. It was a fun evening for everyone involved, and we hope to see our military friends visit often!
Deputy Director for Development