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Charleston celebrated the launch of Society 1858 this Friday, May 21 by providing perfect weather for the fabulously dressed crowd in the scenic Gibbes Museum courtyard.

Guests felt as though they had stepped into another world as the hectic hustle and bustle of Meeting Street traffic gave way to live modern jazz and a mouth-watering spread welcoming all to the debut of Society 1858, a group of dynamic professionals who support the Gibbes Museum of Art with social and educational programs for up-and-coming art patrons.

Party goers were joined by art aficionados filtering out from a special reception and gallery tour with Jim and Esther Ferguson, whose incredible private collection is currently on loan at the Gibbes for the “Modern Masters” exhibition (on view from April 30 - August 22, 2010).

The gorgeous crowd mingled in the garden while sipping wine or Firefly cocktails before ambling under the tent to partake of the delicious selection of hors d’oeuvres provided by Caviar and Bananas. Everyone filled their plates with roasted vegetables, fresh fruit, delectable sushi, and a variety of meats while discussing upcoming exhibitions and Charleston’s growing art scene.

Evening turned to night, and the party showed no signs of ending. Guests relaxed on plush lounges and enjoyed miniature s’mores and sweets, seeming reluctant to head into the warm spring night.