If two parties in the same season with the same theme make a trend then we’ve got one — masquerade ball. Both the Eden Institute’s annual gala, “Dreams of La Masquerade” (see U.S. 1January 30), and the Friends of Princeton Art Museum’s annual gala, “Carnevale,” pictured here, found party guests in elegant gowns sporting an extra accessory – a mask, in the high style of the Venetian masquerades of centuries ago. Ronald E. Enstrom, preseident and CEO of the Colfax Group in Skillman, and his wife, Daly H. Enstrom, president of Designs by Dollie, a clothing design company, get our vote for most appropriately dressed; both wore authentic Venetian masks – and kept them on for the whole cocktail hour (see photo opposite page).

In keeping with the Venetian flavor of the evening, guests were welcomed with bellinis, the peach nectar and Champagne concoction made famous by Harry’s Bar in Venice. As guests strolled the galleries, they nibbled on Italian appetizers including pancetta and pear crisps, and tomato and basil tartlet, and were serenaded by the University Jazztet.

Following cocktail hour guests dined and danced to music by Mission Dance Entertainment ’til the clock struck twelve.

Proceeds from the gala support educational programs, which attract some 100,000 visitors each year, including pre-K through 12th-grade students, seniors, and audiences with physical or developmental challenges.

This year’s rograms include a multi-visit program for Trenton public school third-grade classes, which culminates in artwork and personal journals; Art for Families, Saturday morning children’s talks accompanied by an art project; a collaboration with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, which included a performance for middle school students who used the music as inspiration for original artwork; school tours; and Family Day, a celebration for young audiences that features a particular aspect of the collection, presented free of charge. For more information visit www.princetonartmuseum.org.

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