THE ICON: Sydney Besthoff III
THE LEGACY: His family name provides the “B” in “K&B,” one of New Orleans’ most fondly remembered businesses of yesteryear. But when he retired and sold the business in 1997 at age 70, Sydney Besthoff III wasn’t ending his legacy. He was just beginning. As avid art collectors, he and wife Walda Besthoff have become two of the city’s most dedicated arts patrons, with an emphasis on cultivating public interest in visual art in general and contemporary sculpture in particular. In 2003, they underwrote the creation of a sprawling sculpture garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art and donated more than 50 pieces to fill it. Recognized as among the best of its kind in the country, the Sydney and Walda Beshoff Sculpture Garden is an art lovers dream, a gem that will almost make locals forget how much they miss K&B ice cream.
THE ARTIST: D. Lammie Hanson, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “They’re like my children. I’ve had them a long time. I’ve spent a lot of time staring at them and thinking about them. I miss them.” — Sydney Besthoff, talking in 2003 about the 50-plus sculptures he donated for his namesake New Orleans sculpture garden