Magazine article Art Business News

Hillwood Museum & Gardens Undergoes Renovation

Magazine article Art Business News

Hillwood Museum & Gardens Undergoes Renovation

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Hillwood Museum and Gardens, the former estate of collector, philanthropist and businesswoman Marjorie Merriweather Post, reopened to the public this fall following an extensive three-year renovation of the museum. The revitalized estate now provides a showcase for Hillwood's collections, including an improved museum-quality environment, renewed plantings and restored sculpture in the surrounding gardens and enhanced public facilities. A new Visitor Center features an updated orientation film, information and audio-tour desks and an expanded museum shop.

Hillwood is the legacy of Postum Cereal Company heiress Post (1887-1973) and features her internationally renowned personal collection of fine and decorative arts. The museum includes the most comprehensive collections of 18th and 19th century Russian imperial art outside of Russia, as well as one of the world's most important collections of 18th century French decorative arts.

The newly renovated museum also features several important new acquisitions, including a Vienna, Du Paquier Period cup and saucer set (1730 to 1735) from the "Tsar's Service," which served as a model for the designers at the Imperial Porcelain Factory in the following decades and was one of the earliest truly European styles of decorating porcelain. Also acquired were three elaborately embroidered miters (19th and 20th century) worn by bishops when performing the holy liturgy; a 1930s ink-stand from Natalia Dan'ko's Discussion of the Draft Stalin Constitution in Uzbekistan; a desk set, which is among the most significant and monumental of the artist's desk sets and was designed and produced in the years Post lived in Russia; and a major collection of 300 rare Russian books devoted to the history of decorative arts in the context of Russian imperial culture; and an icon painting, which demonstrates the scope of art historical scholarship in pre-revolutionary Russia. …

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