Richardson Society 2019 Venice Biennale Trip

Every year the Ogden Museum’s Richardson Society takes an annual trip abroad. This November, the exclusive affinity group traveled to Italy for the 58th annual international art exhibition, Venice Biennale, titled May You Live In Interesting Times. The exhibition develops from the Central Pavilion (Giardini) to the Arsenale and includes 79 participants from all over the world.

The Ogden Museum’s Richardson Society members spent six days in Venice and experienced an exclusive look at the city’s vibrant art scene. Keep reading to see highlights from this year’s trip!

Guided Tour of the Central Pavilion and the Arsenale

The first day of the Richardson Society’s annual trip kicked off with an exclusive guided tour of the Central Pavilion, featuring works specifically chosen by the Biennale’s Curator, Ralph Rugoff, to express the myriad of possibilities of the exhibition’s title, May You Live in Interesting Times.

On the second day, Richardson Society members had the opportunity to explore the Arsenale, formerly the shipyards of the Venetian Republic. Members then explored the Corderie galleries independently, where Rugoff challenged the artists seen at the Giardini to reconceive their work using a completely different media and style. He purposefully exhibited fewer artists than past curators in order to enrich the breadth and context for each presentation.

After another long day at the Venice Biennale, travelers enjoyed an exclusive dinner at Osteria Da Carla. Afterwards, they had the option to attend a performance of La Traviata at the Musica a Palazzo.

Touring the City


The group spent on of their mornings abroad aboard two private motorboats to learn about the city’s architecture with a local expert. Afterwards, the sightseeing concluded at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, located along the Grand Canal, where members had the opportunity to tour the collection.

The day continued with a visit to the Punta della Dogana, Venice’s former customs house. Erected in 1682, this incredible space was reconceived as a museum by the world-renowned architect Tadao Ando and presents an incredible suite of works from the Pinault Collection.

Later that evening, members prepared for an after-hours guided visit to the Basilica San Marco where they enjoyed privileged access to areas of the Basilica that are normally closed to the public!

Islands in the Northern Venetian Lagoon

This day kicked off with a departure on private boats for the Islands in the northern Venetian Lagoon, where Venice began. They began in Murano, home of Venetian glassblowers since 1291, took a private tour of Signoretto Lampadari, a company that specializes in 18th century reproduction Venetian chandeliers and then strolled to San Donato to see the array of 12th century mosaics.

After viewing local lacemakers on Burano island, the group visited Dorona Vineyard, home to an ancient grape reintroduced in 2001. While there, enjoyed a tasting of the rare wine and a three course lunch at Venissa’s Osteria. 

The night concluded with a farewell dinner at the Contessa’s home in Palazzo Alvera on the Grand Canal.

We can’t wait to see where the Richardson Society will travel to next!

Interested in joining the Richardson Society?

The Richardson Society, an exclusive affinity group comprised of the Museum’s highest-level members, enjoys a variety of unique opportunities and benefits including private access to events and exhibitions at the Ogden Museum, in other Southern cities, and across the country. Richardson Society membership is a way to experience shared passions for the visual and culinary arts, music, literature and all things cultural that comprise the Museum’s mission, and is vital in promoting the Museum to an expanded audience. Richardson Society membership supports a variety of the Museum’s vital activities. We would be honored to have you join us!

Learn More About Richardson Society