History of the Birmingham Beaux Arts Krewe

In 1966, Mrs. James Mallory Kidd, Jr. was in charge of the eleventh Beaux Arts Jewel Ball for the Birmingham Museum of Art. It was an enormous undertaking, but after the ball all the decorations were discarded.

This waste of time, talent, and effort caused Mrs. Kidd to see the need for a support group with permanent costumes and decorations. More than 125 men joined as charter members, and the Beaux Arts Krewe was founded.

Westminster Abbey was the inspiration for the idea that each member would dress as a king, have a banner with a coat of arms and be attended by a page. The theme of the gala was set!

The year that followed was hectic, with constant meetings to prepare for the first annual ball. Many volunteered to cut, sew, paint and glue at Mrs. Kidd’s lovely home. Shields and banners were created, and the vivid red velvet capes were cut on the floor of her entrance hall. Miles of gold braid adorned the shoulders and surrounded the capes. Even today, the capes of former Kings are decorated with the Krewe’s coat of arms, and members wearing gold medallions are former Captains of the Krewe.

We are still using the same capes, banners, crest and candelabra to fill the Great Hall with flickering enchantment. Many lovely daughters have served as queens and ladies-in-waiting, while hundreds have become princesses, presented by their fathers and accompanied by their brothers and sisters as pages.

The Krewe contributes a substantial sum of money each year to the Birmingham Museum of Art. To make a donation to the “Krewe Acquisition Fund” at the Birmingham Museum of Art, please visit this link. The images below are examples of the fine art that the Krewe funds have helped purchase for the Birmingham Museum Art collection.

The Cascade at Tivoli The Arab Lamenting the Death of His Steed Still Life with Cantaloupe Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John Doge Leonardo Loredan A Kitchen Interior
The Cascade at Tivoli
Clade-Joseph Vernet (French, 1714 - 1789) Oil on Canvas, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Beaux Arts Krewe in honor of Mrs. Elbert (Sallye) Martin and by Mr. and Mrs. William H. Hulsey and Martee Woodward Webb.