Nearly 50 years ago, a plane crash in Paris devastated Atlanta, taking the lives of many of the city's most ardent supporters of the arts.
June 3 marks the 50th anniversary of the crash, and The Buckhead Heritage Society has planned commemorations today and tomorrow of those who were lost, and a tribute to the city's renewed support for the arts.
The Buckhead Heritage Society will host a lecture today, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. by Ann Uhry Abrams, author of Explosion at Orly: The Disaster that Transformed Atlanta, and Chris Moser, the producer of the 2001 GPB documentary film,The Day Atlanta Stood Still. The event will also include the screening of the film and be held at the , 2744 Peachtree Road NW.
Tickets are $5 for Buckhead Heritage members at the Standing Peachtree or Montgomery’s Ferry levels and $15 for non-members. The event is free for Buckhead Heritage members at the Moore’s Mill level and above and free for descendants of those who perished in the crash.
In partnership with the Millennium Gate Georgia History Museum, Buckhead Heritage will also host an art exhibit open to the public followed by a private cocktail reception and art auction tomorrow, May 12, at the Millennium Gate in Atlantic Station at 395 17th Street NW.
The story of the Orly tragedy will be brought to life through the works of nationally renowned artists including Todd Murphy, Meg Aubrey, Bonnie Beauchamp-Cooke, Dennis Campay, Carolyn Carr, Debbie de Juan Keating, Ben Jennings, Morgan Kendall, Hailey Lowe, Margaret Motley, Steve Penley, Peter Polites, Serge Raffato, Dawne Raulet, Rossin, Serge Ruffato, Tracy Sharp, Jill Steenhuis, Lou Steed and Katherine Bell McClure.
These artists will contribute original works interpreting the Orly Air Crash and its transformative effects on the cultural scene of the city. The art exhibit will be free and open to the public from noon until 5:00 p.m.
The reception and art auction will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Tickets for the private reception and art auction are $25 for Buckhead Heritage members and $35 for non-members. Proceeds from the auction will support the Cultural and Historical Resources component of the Buckhead Collection Greenspace Plan.
The plane crash at Paris’s Orly Airport took the lives of 122 arts patrons from Atlanta who were part of a European arts tour planned by the Atlanta Art Association. The tragedy stunned Atlanta’s citizens, galvanizing them to build a Memorial Arts Building that is now part of the , which celebrates multiple art forms in one location.