The annual Historic Alexandria Homes Tour, hosted by The Twig, will take place on September 22 & will feature select historic homes in Old Town. Among the homes featured will be an 18th century English and Flemish-style home with elegant window masonry, dentil molding at the roof line, distinctive keystones, a transom over the front door, and the original staircase. The Twig is the Junior Auxiliary of Inova Alexandria Hospital--an organization of women dedicated to providing financial aid, volunteer services, and support to the hospital. All proceeds from the tour will benefit the hospital.
Image below: The logo for the Historic Alexandria Homes Tour.
Renovation of Bartholdi Park near the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) was completed in June.The park, which is on the Mall-side of the U.S. Capitol, is now a showcase of sustainable gardening. The park has served as a demonstration garden since it was created in 1932 and until 2016 had not undergone a complete renovation. The renovation provided an opportunity to increase accessibility, demonstrate USBG’s commitment to sustainability & showcase the Sustainable SITES Initiative in action. SITES is the most comprehensive system for designing, developing and maintaining sustainable land. Saharah Moon Chapotin, executive director of the USBG, commented that the “USBG has championed SITES since our initial work in helping develop the program more than a decade ago. We are excited to now have Bartholdi Park as a living example of a sustainably designed garden right in the middle of Washington, D.C.” Projects certified by SITES create ecologically-resilient communities, reduce water demand, improve air quality and connect people to nature.
Image below:A view of Bartholdi Park in Summer, 2018 Visit www.usbg.gov
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library & Collection is exhibiting mixed media sculpture inspired by natural forms and materials by noted Washington artist Martha Jackson Jarvis. “The project features works in stone, wood, and mosaic & assemblages made of sticks and vines. The garden installation is on view until December 16.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library & Collection in Georgetown, DC is exhibiting Transplanting the Renaissance: Italian Villa Gardens in America, 1900–1940 thru September 2, 2018.The exhibition – in the Orientation Gallery - examines the transplantation of Italian gardens in the U.S. & explores the relationships between popular images, landscape design, and cultural identity.
The Phillips Collection’s historic house galleriesofficially opened to the public on June 21 after being closed for a year-long renovation project. The Gallery will commemorate its centennial in 2021. Phillips Director Dorothy Kosinski commented that “These upgrades to the essential control systems governing the temperature and humidity within the museum will ensure the protection of our collection and the enjoyment of our visitors for years to come.” Architectural enhancements are most notable in the Phillips Music Room, “which features upgraded wall paneling to improve sound quality and the attendees’ experience for the many music events in the space, most notably the museum’s renowned Sunday Concert Series.” The series will resume in October.
Image below: A view of the renovated galleries - Photo by Lee Stalsworth.
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is exhibiting Fabergé Rediscovered, thru January 13, 2019. The special exhibition unveils new discoveries relating to Hillwood’s collection of Fabergé imperial Easter eggs and other famed works. The exhibition “will bring to light new attributions and provenances and provide a broader framework to study, explore, and appreciate nineteenth and twentieth-century jewelry and goldsmithing.” Major American art dealers and collectors, such as Marjorie Merriweather Post, played a significant role in Fabergé’s success after the fall of the imperial regime. For the first time, with this exhibition, Hillwood’s collection is examined through Post’s perspective. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Wilfried Zeisler, who is Hillwood’s chief curator.
Image below: A Lusupov Box – Photo courtesy of Hillwood
Brookside Gardens is presenting the annual Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit thru September 16. As visitors enter the South Conservatory, they are “surrounded by hundreds of brilliant live butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia soaring among colorful flowers and going about their business of drinking nectar and looking for others of their kind. Visitors learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the important role butterflies play in healthy ecosystems, and how to ensure these beautiful insects thrive in our own gardens.”
Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers named Dr. Saharah Moon Chapotin as Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) in February, 2018. Before joining the USBG, Dr. Chapotin worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she has served since 2006. She was the Deputy Assistant to the Administrator at USAID’s Bureau for Food Security. Dr. Chapotin holds a bachelor of science in biology from Stanford University and a doctorate in plant physiology from Harvard University. Before her work with USAID, she completed fellowships at Iowa State University and the National Academies working on issues of biosafety policy, scientific communication and national security.
The U.S. Botanic Garden is displaying an exhibit titled Wall Flowers: Urban Botanical Art, in the Conservatory, thru October, 2018. “The exhibit features large-scale art by local artists who specialize in public murals that beautify our cities. The murals depict plants using bold colors and monumental scale. The exhibit fosters creative conversations about botanical art and new ways to communicate the important roles plants play in our lives.”
Image below: The logo for Wall Flowers: Urban Botanical Art
The American Society of Botanical Artists is presenting Botanical Art Worldwide: America's Flora - Linking People with Plants in the US Botanic Garden, thru October 15.Jurors have selected 46 artworks for the exhibition, and all artworks feature native plants of the US. Similar exhibitions are held in 24 other countries. Each country provides up to 40 images of works in their exhibitions to be compiled into a digital slide show that are shown at participating venues. A Worldwide Day of Botanical Art will be held on May 18, with events held for 24 hours, following the sun from venue to venue.”Countries participating include: Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Image below: Rose Mallow (Hibiscus mocheutos) by Karen Kluglein.
Dr. Kevin Butterfield – Executive Director The Fred W. Smith National Library
Dr. Kevin Butterfield was named executive director of The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington (Washington Library) by The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association in July, and began his new duties on August 1.The library is the premier center for the study of our first President. As the executive director of the Library, Butterfield “will foster serious scholarship about George Washington and his era while also developing new and furthering existing cutting-edge academic and public programs, as well as growing the library collection.” Mount Vernon president Doug Bradburn commented that “Kevin brings a fresh set of bold ideas and vision to take the Library to the next level—He’s a great scholar, but also has the rare gift of leadership." Butterfield comes to Mount Vernon from the University of Oklahoma, where he serves as Director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage and Constitutional Studies Program and holds an appointment as Wick Cary Professor and Associate Professor of Classics and Letters.
A specialist in the founding era, Butterfield boasts a lengthy list of publication and teaching credits on topics related to the founding period, including one prize-winning book about early American legal history and several articles.” Butterfield holds a B.A. in History from the University of Missouri, an M.A. in History from the College of William and Mary, and a PhD in History from Washington University in St. Louis.
Images below: Dr. Kevin Butterfield & an aerial view of Mount Vernon.
TheNational Museum of Natural History opened The Garden Lounge on the 2nd Floor in late 2017.The lounge is an interior garden rest and recharge area for visitors. “There are live plants and a relaxing atmosphere with botany content as a frame. Bright sunlight, enhanced seating and designated outlets for charging mobile devices welcome visitors to the space. Content focuses on stories of plants—their history, their diversity, and how they disperse and grow. Though the primary function of this space is to give visitors a break from the hubbub of the museum, these botany themes help fill in an important and underrepresented part of the story of natural history.”
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no more DC Design House presentations. The nonprofit that had overseen the running of the annual showhouse each October for ten years, voted unanimously in February, 2018 to disband after raising $290,000 during the 2017 DC Design House - and more than $2 million in 10 years. The annual Design House had been highly-regarded by design professionals, realtors and members of the general public with an interest in design. The 2017 Design House featured a 23-room house in Potomac, Maryland. Twenty-three designers decorated the spaces, and there were four boutiques, a Decade of Design Celebration and special events throughout the month in the home’s ballroom – plus a café onsite. Proceeds from the house tour benefited the Children’s National Health System.