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Annie Watt Agency's "Impromptu Portraits" Exhibit At Palm Beach's Colony Hotel Caps Off A Sizzling, Socially Distant Season

Lee Fryd

Annie Watt with her "Impromptu Portraits" Exhibit at Palm Beach's Colony Hotel. (Photo: Annie Watt Agency)

Society photographer Annie Watt, friend and chronicler of the one percent, has been a regular on the Palm Beach scene for awhile. But, with the sale of her NYC apartment, she announced, "I am now officially a Florida business!" Not to worry: She and her NYC staff will still be working in Manhattan and the Hamptons. "In fact," she told us, "I'm flying to New York next week to shoot the Hat Luncheon."

To celebrate, the Colony Hotel fêted her with a cocktail reception and photo exhibition. Eleanora Kennedy, Jean Shafiroff, Janet Levy, Christine Schott & George Ledes, Doug Evans, Miklaj Bauer, Swifty's Robert Caravaggi, Colony Hotel owners Sarah and Andrew Wetenhall hosted. It capped off what was probably Palm Beach's hottest season, with tout New York - and the restaurants that feed them - migrating there from the Hamptons.

Among those milling and donating: Alex Donner & Annette De Lorenzo, Jackie Weld Drake, Karen Klopp, Gail Worth & Frank Orenstein, Amanda Polk, Anka Palitz, Bea Cayzer & Bill Richards, Camilla Webster, CeCe & Lee Black, David McClymont, Dr. William Watt & Dr. Kathy Watt, Guy Clark & Harrison Morgan, Helmut Koller, Nick Mele, Patrick McMullan, Paul & Ursula Lowerre, Sandra Victor, Sharon Bush, Steven Stolman & Rich Wilkie, Susan & Hunter Cushing, Vicki Kellogg, Xiomi * Roby Penn and Yaz Hernandez.

They - and everyone who RSVP'd - found themselves on the walls. "I love surprising people with their photos on display," Annie told us. She had to work day and night for weeks to make it happen. "Sharon Bush cried when she saw an old photo with her two daughters," Annie said. The show, "Impromptu Portraits, a Distinguished Decade," spilled out of the Colony Hotel Solarium poolside. People were invited to purchase their photos. All proceeds went to The Cancer Alliance of Help and Hope and The Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach. Annie's photographers - some who flew in from New York - John Sanderson, Mike Jachles and Jillian Nelson shot it. Jane Greaves was the videographer.

"The Colony was the perfect fit for me, because Swifty's is there," Annie told us. "The Mayor's Fund Fete de Swifty's was the first event I ever shot, for New York Social Diary, 14 years ago. So, I was at the Colony all winter."

So was everybody else. "It is THE place to be," Annie continued. "With tables scattered around the pool, everyone feels safe. And with their canopy roof with hanging vines and chandeliers, everyone stays cool. There were lots of parties. Even the French Heritage Society held a luncheon there this year, instead of an evening gala."

The Colony and Annie seem to be a winning combination. Her show was such a social success, the Wetenhalls have already asked her to make it an annual end of season affair.


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