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vernissage (ver-nuh-SAZH) noun
A private showing or preview of an art exhibition before the public opening; also the reception celebrating the opening of an art exhibition.
[From French vernissage (varnishing), from vernis (varnish), ultimately from Berenik, the name of an ancient city in Cyrenaica in northern Africa where natural resins were first used as varnish.]
Traditionally, the day before the official opening of an art exhibition was reserved for the artist to varnish or put finishing touches to their paintings.
"On the night of the Vernissage, which must surely provide perfect
art-buying conditions - lashings of bubbles and money in the same
rooms - the red stickers are going up."
"Marsden, the artist, has become the art, as she swims under the
water in a gold vernissage of late summer light."
This week's theme: toponyms.
A man does not look behind the door unless he has stood there himself. -William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, educator and writer (1868-1963)