Washington’s grand public museums aren’t the only places to see outstanding art: There are treasures to be found in any number of smaller-scaled private collections. Discover one of the finest and most interesting —from both the standpoints of art and architecture—in a private, small-group experience that invites you to spend a spring day exploring Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, the former residence of businesswoman and collector Marjorie Merriweather Post.
Begin with a special welcome from Hillwood staff before beginning the guided garden tour. Set on 25 acres adjacent to Rock Creek, Hillwood’s gardens feature a diverse and fascinating array of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Stroll through the French parterre, reminiscent of a world of European elegance and refinement, and step across the bridge in the Japanese-style garden, an artful blend of Asian and American inspirations. Don’t miss the working greenhouse, the source of the orchids and other tropical plants that fill Hillwood with color and fragrance year-round.
During a three-course lunch at the Merriweather Café, enjoy a special curator talk on Hillwood’s latest acquisitions from the Paley-Romanov Collection, which tells the story of five generations of the Russian imperial family. Then tour the Georgian-style mansion that reflects the distinctive artistic focus of Mrs. Post, who maintained strong ties to the 18th-century French decorating style when transforming Hillwood into her own after purchasing the estate in 1955. Within its walls are a large decorative arts collection focusing heavily on Russian art and religious objects—including Faberge eggs—as well as 18th- and 19th-century French art and furniture. The special exhibition Determined Women: Collectors, Artists, and Designers at Hillwood, spotlights women and their contributions to the art world.
This tour is also available on Friday, May 19.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
Know Before You Go
- Tour participants meet on site at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008.
- Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 4, 2023.
- Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
- For additional tour information:
*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.