Scene in D.C.: Frederick Beinecke, Inouye, Allan McArtor

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Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Giant displays of cherry blossoms decorated the reception.

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Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Giant displays of cherry blossoms decorated the reception. Close

Giant displays of cherry blossoms decorated the reception.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Senator Daniel Inouye, Hawaii Democrat, and his wife, Irene Hirano. Close

Senator Daniel Inouye, Hawaii Democrat, and his wife, Irene Hirano.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Gallery patron Amie Hoeber with Allan McArtor, the chairman of Airbus Americas, Inc., and his wife, Grace. Close

Gallery patron Amie Hoeber with Allan McArtor, the chairman of Airbus Americas, Inc., and his wife, Grace.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Gallery Trustee Frederick Beinecke and Gallery Director Earl Powell III. Close

Gallery Trustee Frederick Beinecke and Gallery Director Earl Powell III.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

National Gallery of Art Director Earl Powell III watches as a Buddhist ceremony blesses the exhibition. Close

National Gallery of Art Director Earl Powell III watches as a Buddhist ceremony blesses the exhibition.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president of WETA-TV and National Gallery of Art trustee. Close

Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president of WETA-TV and National Gallery of Art trustee.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Yoko and Yoshimi Inaba, president and COO of Toyota Motor North America. Close

Yoko and Yoshimi Inaba, president and COO of Toyota Motor North America.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Susie Nemazee, wife of British Ambassador Peter Westmacott. Close

Susie Nemazee, wife of British Ambassador Peter Westmacott.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Guests gather in the Gallery's West Garden Court before dinner. Cherry blossoms surround the fountain. Close

Guests gather in the Gallery's West Garden Court before dinner. Cherry blossoms surround the fountain.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Joseph Krakora, the executive officer of external international relations at the National Gallery of Art and Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki. Close

Joseph Krakora, the executive officer of external international relations at the National Gallery of Art and... Read More

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Arts patron Ann Nitze. Close

Arts patron Ann Nitze.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

National Gallery Trustees Jane and Calvin Cafritz talk to Yoriko Fujisaki, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador. Close

National Gallery Trustees Jane and Calvin Cafritz talk to Yoriko Fujisaki, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Champagne glass with cherry blossom was drink of choice for the evening. Close

Champagne glass with cherry blossom was drink of choice for the evening.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Koto soloist Kyoko Okamoto performed during cocktails. Close

Koto soloist Kyoko Okamoto performed during cocktails.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Guests mingle in the exhibition's main gallery where Japanese scrolls hang on the walls. Close

Guests mingle in the exhibition's main gallery where Japanese scrolls hang on the walls.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Japanese gift of cherry blossom trees to Washington, the Imperial Household Agency of Japan is lending the capital some more-stylized flora.

Last night the National Gallery of Art hosted a gala reception in honor of the opening of that loan, a monthlong exhibition titled “Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800).”

National Gallery trustee Frederick Beinecke, the president of Antaeus Enterprises Inc., said he had to make the trip from his home base in New York for the rare and short-lived show because “you’re never going to see anything like this.”

Another National Gallery trustee, Sharon Percy Rockefeller -- whose husband, Senator Jay Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat, was “tied up in the Senate” -- marveled at the “extraordinary” art work, especially a scroll with a preening peacock.

Senate business did not prevent Rockefeller’s colleague Senator Daniel Inouye, the Hawaii Democrat, and his wife, Irene Hirano, from coming out.

Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas (0131059D) Inc., who watched a Buddhist ceremony bless the exhibition, said people in his industry are often seen as “engineers and policy wonks, but we do have a softer side, a cultural side.”

Airbus, Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Nikkei Inc. are among the exhibition’s major sponsors.

Pearls and Bracelets

Ann Nitze, a private art dealer, proudly announced that her elegant black dress, which she accessorized with a pearl necklace, was made by Japanese designer Hanae Mori.

For those who didn’t come accessorized, Yoriko Fujisaki, the wife of Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, handed out plastic white bracelets with small pink cherry blossoms.

Susie Nemazee, the wife of British Ambassador Peter Westmacott, also meandered through the exhibition.

After the guests mingled in the galleries, they went upstairs to the building’s West Garden Court where champagne was served with a signature blossom. Kyoko Okamoto played soothing koto solos.

A buffet dinner of Japanese cuisine was served in the West Sculpture Hall amid giant displays of cherry blossoms and small arrangements of peonies.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer on this story: StephanieGreen in Washington at sgreen57@bloomberg.net or on Twitter @stephlgreen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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