Celebrate and Support the Art of the American South

Ogden Museum of Southern Art will host its annual O What a Night! Gala in-person this fall on Saturday, October 16!

Ogden Museum of Southern Art, dedicated to broadening the knowledge, understanding, interpretation and appreciation of the visual arts and culture of the American South, will hold its annual O What a Night! Gala honoring internationally recognized photographer and author, Sally Mann, on Saturday, October 16, 2021, along with a Patron Party and auction preview on Thursday, October 14 at the home of Jason Waguespack and Jeffrey Morgan. Co-chairs Beverly Dale and Dale A. Mott invite you to join them at the O What a Night! Gala, which sells out every year and plays host to affluent and influential patrons from New Orleans and across the country. This evening is not only an experiential celebration of the very best in Southern art, music and food, but also provides critical funds for Ogden Museum’s award-winning educational programs and our dynamic exhibitions.

What makes this event so special? The people and the art! People from all over the country will be able to bid on works of art in the live and silent art auctions. Year after year, art collectors look forward to viewing all of the beautiful works of art created by artists of the South.

Previous recipients of the OPUS Award include artists Lonnie Holley, John Alexander, George Dureau, Lin Emery and George Rodrigue; community activist Fran Villere; and noted collectors and philanthropists Pamela J. Joyner & Alfred J. Giuffrida, William S. Arnett and David Kerstein.

Purchase Tickets

The format of the event is subject to change depending on local, state and CDC guidelines. 


About Sally Mann

To be able to take my pictures, I have to look, all the time, at the people and places I care about. And I must do so with both ardor and cool appraisal, with the passions of eye and heart, but in that ardent heart there must also be a splinter of ice. 

—Sally Mann

Sally Mann is known for her photographs of intimate and familiar subjects rendered both sublime and disquieting. Her projects explore the complexities of familial relationships, social realities, and the passage of time, capturing tensions between nature, history, and memory.

Born in Lexington, Virginia, Mann began to study photography in the late 1960s, attending the Ansel Adams Gallery’s Yosemite Workshops in Yosemite National Park, California and the Putney School and Bennington College, both in Vermont. She received a B.A. from Hollins College, Roanoke, Virginia, in 1974, and an M.A. in creative writing the following year. At a moment when many other photographers were creating large-scale color prints, Mann looked to photography’s past, investigating the visual and metaphorical potential of employing nineteenth-century technologies. She has long used an 8 x 10 bellows camera and has explored platinum, bromoil, and wet-plate collodion processes for making prints.

Mann had her first solo museum exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in 1977, presenting The Lewis Law Portfolio (1974–76), a series of black-and-white photographs that comprise some of her earliest explorations into the inherent abstract beauty of the everyday. In the early 1980s she published two books, Second Sight and At Twelve, the latter a study of young girls on the cusp of womanhood. Between 1984 and 1994 she worked on the series Family Pictures, which focused on her three children, then all under the age of twelve. These works touch on ordinary moments—playing, sleeping, and eating—as well as larger themes such as death and cultural perceptions of sexuality and motherhood. From 1999 to 2012, Mann photographed Cy Twombly’s warmly lit studio in Lexington, recording the moments she spent with him there as well as the traces of his artistic life.

From the late 1990s into the 2000s, Mann honed in on her relationship with the American South, taking photographs in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana for her Deep South series (2005), as well as Civil War battlefields for Last Measure (2000). Her longtime interest in themes of death, time, and decay are also evident in What Remains (Bullfinch Press, 2003), a five-part study of mortality ranging from pictures of the decomposing body of her beloved greyhound to photographs of the site where an armed fugitive committed suicide on her property. In 2003, Mann began documenting the effects of muscular dystrophy on her husband, Larry. These candid and frank portraits, which would later become the Proud Flesh series (2009), recall classical sculpture while capturing a male subject in moments of intimate vulnerability.

Mann’s latest large-scale project, A Thousand Crossings, further explores the complex cultural identity of the American South, as well as Mann’s relationship with her place of origin—a region rich in literary and artistic traditions but troubled by history. The exhibition, which she began working on in 2006, debuted at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC in 2018 and has since traveled extensively in the United States and abroad in Paris.

A Guggenheim fellow and a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Mann was named “America’s Best Photographer” by Time magazine in 2001. She has been the subject of two documentaries: Blood Ties (1994), which was nominated for an Academy Award, and What Remains (2006), which premiered at Sundance and was nominated for an Emmy for Best Documentary in 2008. Mann’s Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs (Little, Brown, 2015) received universal critical acclaim; it was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Awards and in 2016 won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.

Bio courtesy of Gagosian


Ticket Opportunities

Underwriter table – $25,000
• Name recognition as Underwriter on all print and digital materials including 2,000 printed invitations, and 400 event programs and catalogs
• Name recognition as Underwriter on Gala webpage
• 8 tickets to the O What a Night! Gala Patron Party
• 1 table at the O What a Night! Gala with first row placement (8 seats)

Sponsor table – $15,000
• Name recognition as Sponsor on all print and digital materials including 2,000 printed invitations and 400 event programs and catalogs
• Name recognition as Sponsor on Gala webpage
• 8 tickets to the O What a Night! Gala Patron Party
• 1 table at the O What a Night! Gala with premium placement (8 seats)

Benefactor Table – $10,000
• Name recognition as Benefactor on all print and digital materials including 2,000 printed invitations and 400 event programs and catalogs
• Name recognition as Benefactor on Gala webpage
• 8 tickets to the O What a Night! Gala Patron Party
• 1 table at the O What a Night! Gala with preferred placement (8 seats)

Patron Host – $5,000

• Name recognition as Patron Host on all print and digital materials including 2,000 printed invitations and 400 event programs and catalogs

• Name recognition as Patron Host on Gala webpage
• 4 tickets to the O What a Night! Gala Patron Party
• Half table at the O What a Night! Gala with preferred placement (4 seats)

Patron – $1,200

• Name recognition as Patron on all print materials including 2,000 printed invitations and 400 event programs and catalogs
• 1 ticket to the O What a Night! Gala Patron Party
• 1 ticket to the O What a Night! Gala

Purchase Tickets

The format of the event is subject to change depending on local, state and CDC guidelines.