Sunday, May 3, 2015

Visit to the Hillwood Museum

The gardens were in full bloom!
I took my Mom to visit the Hillwood Estate today. It was the DC home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, which she bequeathed as a museum when she died in 1973. Marjorie was the only child of CW Post, who founded the Postum Cereal Company that later became the General Foods Corporation. When her father died in 1914, she became one of the wealthiest women in America, at age 27.

copper red vases
She started collecting French decorative arts in 1919. She lived in Russia in the 1930s with her third husband, who was the US Ambassador. There, she discovered Russian imperial arts and began collecting them as well. She showcased her collection to family and friends at the Hillwood Mansion that she purchased in 1955.

I must say that this is not my type of thing. Seeing how some people lived in such opulence while most people lacked the essentials makes me a bit queasy. I am also not attracted to the intricate designs of the times but I did like the vases shown in these two photos.

Staff dining service
We viewed many different porcelain place settings from France and Russia, but the one that I liked best was in the kitchen. It was the staff's dining service by the English firm Furnival Limited, in the style of Royal Copenhagen's blue fluted design. There were three cooks at Hillwood, one cooked for Marjorie Merriweather Post and the other two prepared the meals for the staff, who ate the same food although maybe not presented as elegantly.

Mom in the rose garden
The weather was wonderful and, all in all, Mom and I had a good time.

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