A Big Thank You to VRG’s Outstanding Education Committee

We are so grateful to our remarkable Education Committee. Co-chairs Adrienne Horwitch, Patty Elias and Cindy Fields organized amazing events at the Virginia Robinson Gardens from 2018-2020. The fascinating lectures, dazzling tables, and delicious luncheons made for a memorable experience.  The events were almost always sold out!  The beautiful garden setting and lectures in the romantic Sumner Hunt-designed Pool Pavilion only enhanced the fabulous experience.

Left to right: Patti Elias, Cindy Fields, Adrienne Horwitch

With the help of our extremely talented resident design assistant, Andrey Yun, the themed floral centerpieces on the luncheon tables were always spectacular. Caterer Joe Monteferante** … Read More

Explore the Magic of the Virginia Robinson Gardens through Art

The Miracle of a Garden Why is everyone ever so happy When wandering within a garden’s spaces? Could the answer be amidst the scented Pansies which capture all the beauty of children's faces? So next when one’s amidst a Rose’s bowers Put aside your woes and sorrows. Lend your Inner brilliance on those pathways Sprinkling miracles about for those who’ll surely follow. Poem by Regina Drucker, Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member and VRG Historian.

Anna Wyckoff: The Alchemy of Costume Design and Fashion – POSTPONED

There is a magical, almost alchemic formula that makes certain cinematic moments unforgettable, and part of that equation involves the costume. Think Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly grazes on her breakfast while gazing in Tiffany’s window, sheathed in an austere black column dress and opera gloves, arrayed in a collar of pearls, a tiny tiara, and dark sunglasses dressed by Edith Head and Givenchy. In The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn Monroe relishes the breeze from the subway grate in her pleated white halter designed by costume designer William Travilla. Is this Costume or Fashion?

Costume and fashion are … Read More

Dr. Toni Bowers on Charlie Chaplin in Beverly Hills

Dr. Toni Bowers gave a wonderfully enlightening talk on Charlie Chaplin, focusing on his years in Beverly Hills, that fascinated and delighted the attendees at the Virginia Robinson Gardens on January 14, 2020. Education co-chair Cindy Fields introduced Dr. Bowers. A Professor of English literature at the University of Pennsylvania, she studied at the University of Southern California and Houghton College and received her doctorate from Stanford University. She publishes on and teaches about 17th and 18th century British writings by and about women.

Dr. Bowers related that when Charlie Chaplin came to live in Beverly Hills in 1922 at … Read More

Holiday Fun with Floral Designer Brad Austin

Brad Austin, from Brad Austin Imaginative Florals and his husband Ricky Ramirez, gave a hands-on class on making floral arrangements for the holiday season on December 18, 2019 at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Brad mixed Noble Fir pine leaves to create a long lasting and versatile plant base that can easily mix with roses, Christmas Holly, ornaments, and orchids to create a reusable Christmas to Hanukkah to New Year’s arrangement.  Brad also demonstrated how to pull apart roses to make them larger and more dramatic looking and created a charming light-up floral arrangement with a Champagne bottle and white roses … Read More

A Wonderful Lecture by Madeline Stuart

An exceptional speaker, ultra-talented interior designer Madeline Stuart give a fascinating talk that kept her audience spellbound on October 18, 2019 at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.  Her lecture was based on her new book, No Place Like Home: Interiors by Madeline Stuart.

Education co-chair Cindy Fields introduced Madeline saying that since 2010, Elle Decor has included Madeline on its A-List as one of the top designers in the country. Madeline Stuart and Associates has also been distinguished by its inclusion on the AD100, Architectural Digest‘s prestigious list of the top 100 design and architecture firms.

Madeline said, “Virginia … Read More

Mark Lehner and the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders

Charming and brilliant, renowned archaeologist Mark Lehner gave a fascinating lecture entitled “Finding the People of the Pyramids” on Wednesday, August 18, 2019 at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Board member Janice Jerde, a close personal and professional friend of Mark for 30 years, introduced him, saying, “Mark’s work in Egypt spans 40 years, and he has sustained his passion, excitement, and enthusiasm from the very beginning.” Mark is the Director and President of Ancient Egypt Research Associates, (AERA), an American nonprofit organization.

In 1984, Mark began the Giza plateau mapping project to understand how the pyramid builders organized and changed … Read More

The Remarkable Patina Farm of Brooke and Steve Giannetti

World renowned architect Steve Giannetti and his wife and partner, celebrated interior designer Brooke Giannetti gave a fabulous, sold-out lecture based on their books Patina Style and Patina Farm to a packed audience at Virginia Robinson Gardens on April 12, 2019. The guests loved every minute of their engaging and inspiring presentation.

Seven years ago, the Giannettis lived a happy, but hectic life in their home in Santa Monica where they raised their children. In an effort to carve some time out to slow things down, they planted a vegetable garden. Brooke noted, “In the time we spent in our … Read More

Daria de Koning, her Jewelry and the Value of Beauty

On February 1, 2019, Robinson Gardens member Daria de Koning presented a wonderful lecture on gems and an exhibition of her jewelry creations to a packed group of attendees at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.

Daria grew up in New York. Her father is Dutch, and her mother, a fifth generation American. Influenced by her very elegant grandmother, Daria said that her grandmother “did her utmost to instill in me how to be a lady.” The colorful and spirited jewelry that De Koning creates reflects this sophisticated polish as well as a youthful exuberance.

At a very young age, Daria started … Read More

Hutton Wilkinson and Tony Duquette’s Dawnridge

Author and designer Hutton Wilkinson presented a beautiful and entertaining lecture based on his new book, Tony Duquette’s Dawnridge, on December 8, 2018 at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. In keeping with the theme of the lecture, some of the elegant attendees were wearing stunning brooches and jewels by Tony Duquette.

In introducing our speaker, Education co-chair Adrienne Horwitch commented on “the sheer force of Hutton’s fabulous personality.” With wit and exuberance, and eliciting much laughter from the audience, Hutton led us on a wondrous journey, unveiling the spectacular designs and transformations of Tony Duquette’s legendary home, Dawnridge.

Hutton related … Read More

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