Social Circuit

A look at the social events, galas, functions and fund-raisers in the area.

All's well that ends well

It's been a bumpy ride to the opening of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology's exhibition "Secrets of the Silk Road," but the preview party, hosted by the museum's Women's Committee, was held as planned Feb. 9 for 160 donors and board members, who enjoyed a sumptuous Chinese buffet dinner. Although the museum was originally prohibited by Chinese officials from displaying the show's two mummies and 100 artifacts from western China - the show opened Feb. 5 with mock mummies, photos, maps, and interactive stations - the exhibition with all its artifacts and mummies will go on display at 1 p.m. Friday through March 15. A variation of the show, again with faux mummies, will continue from March 17 until June 5.


Renaissance man

The Franklin Institute celebrated the opening of its newest exhibition, "Leonardo da Vinci's Workshop," at a VIP premiere held Feb. 3 for 350 guests. The exhibition showcases the genius of the artist/inventor who was hundreds of years ahead of his time. Dozens of Leonardo's inventions and concepts are brought to life through a combination of cutting-edge computer kiosks and wooden models of such items as his flying machines, artillery, mechanical animals, and harpsichord-viola. The exhibition, presented by Firstrust Bank, continues through May 22.

The eyes have it

Wills Eye Institute celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Retina Service Jan. 29 at the Union League. The event's 300 guests honored the Retina Service's founding members: Dr. William Tasman, Dr. William H. Annesley, Dr. Lov K. Sarin, and the late Dr. Charles J. Rife and Dr. P. Robb McDonald. The evening also was a tribute to Dr. J. Arch McNamara, who died last year at 54 while on a diving trip in Indonesia. McNamara's wife, Dr. Judith E. Melick, and his daughter, Kelly McNamara, also were honored. The black-tie benefit raised more than $650,000 for the Retina Service, a specialty within the institute devoted to treatment of diseases and injuries related to the retina.


Raise your voice

The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia hosted its fifth annual Mendelssohn Medley Jan. 30 at Ravenhill Mansion and Chapel at Philadelphia University. The event, which honored Robert Page, the club's director from 1965 to 1977, featured a performance by select members of the 150-voice chorus and a tour of the 1802 house, once the summer home of East Falls entrepreneur William Weightman. Chaired by Carol Fulton Spinelli, the event raised more than $40,000 for the chorus, which was founded in 1874.