|A moving picture of the French Gardens (created using cinemagr.am)|
The Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Garden is the former private residence of Marjorie Merriweather Post and is now a beautifully archived collection of art and Russian artifacts spread throughout a her mansion and surrounded by amazing gardens. Mrs. Post was the heiress to the Post cereal fortune and during her life collected art and decorative pieces, eventually deciding that her collection was best suited for public consumption. She meant her home to be a living museum, and indeed it was breathtaking. Every nook and cranny was filled with intricately carved furniture, tiny porcelain collectables, and priceless jewels. After a short stay in the Soviet Union during the 1930s, she amassed a huge collection of Russian treasures (saving them from destruction during the tumultuous revolutionary period there).
While I used the excuse of free admission to pay Hillwood a visit, it is entirely worth the $15 admission fee. Visitors are invited to picnic on the vast grounds and you could spend hours wandering through the house and the gardens. Mrs. Post had extravagant taste, but you can tell that the place was really a home, with personality. I loved it, and am now a little sad that I waited until now to check it out.
|c. 1830 vase in cased glass from Russian Imperial Glassworks|
|Breakfast room with bronze place setting.|
|Red roses from the cutting garden.|
|A "paper" dress from the Pret-a-papier exhibition of French artist Isabelle de Borchgrave.|